Monday, July 13, 2009


SELF celebrated its 16th anniversary by hosting a month long sportsfest. Elimination games began on August 22 and culminated on September 20 with championship games dubbed Soberlympics IV played at the Taal View House sports quadrangle. With the theme Kapatiran sa Palaro: Pakikiisa ng SELF sa Barangay, SELF opened its doors to its host community and invited neighbors to play in the sportsfest with the SELF Family. A Sports Committee composed of Barangay Miranda Counselor Eliseo “Ute” Caraan, SELF’s President and Founder Martin Infante and Technical Supervisor Jimmy Nalilin supervised the competition. At 7:30 AM on the day of the championships, the contestants and spectators assembled in front of the SELF administration building for the flag raising ceremonies. Then, the four competing teams — dressed in their respective colors of red, green, yellow and blue — paraded to the sports quadrangle followed by guests and supporters. Colorful opening rites were held before the start of the games. They began with an invocation by Yellow Panthers captain Michael, followed by the singing of the TC philosophy. Then, Program Operations Manager Lea Tumbado gave the welcome address and SELF Residents Coordinating Council President David led the athletes in reciting the Oath of Sportsmanship. Counselor Ute next gave a brief speech in which he expressed his excitement about the coming together of SELF with his Barangay. Finally, Jimmy Nalilin as the Chair of the Rules Committee read the Rules of the Game. Being an Olympic year, the sportsfest organizers found it fitting to adapt the traditional lighting of the Olympic torch.

Team captains ran a relay around the quadrangle bearing the Soberlympics torch. The final lap was run by Sports Coordinator Karlo Aliling who raced up the stairs to the balcony. There he lit a ball of flame that came sliding down a wire, setting fire to an improvised Olympic cup ... upon which Kuya Martin declared, “Let the games begin!” The first event was the much awaited Cheering Showdown, which showcased exciting choreography performed by resident and staff participants. It was a dance-off the likes of which have never been seen. But, alas, there could only be one winner and the judges awarded the trophy to the Red Dragons. Volleyball championships came next, followed by the various badminton divisions. When it came time for the culminating event — the basketball finals — spectators filled the bleachers, balcony and roof tops to cheer their teams on. After the competitions, Holy Mass was celebrated at the Multi-Purpose Hall, followed by an al fresco fellowship dinner, with many SELF Family Association members and guests from Barangay Miranda in attendance. The awarding ceremonies followed immediately and the champions received their respective trophies. Finally, The Long Road to the Summit, a video presentation that looked back on SELF’s early years and the many challenges it surmounted, closed the month long celebration of its 16th anniversary. As in every competition, this one saw its share of winners and losers. But in the eyes of the participants and all those who came to support them that day, winning was only secondary to the friendships that were built and the fun and excitement that swept throughout the entire SELF community.


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