Pages: After 882 days, Cesafi returns

·3 min read

Felix “Boy” Tiukinhoy, the Commissioner of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), invited me to speak on April 22 during the opening of the league’s 2021-2022 season in Cebu Coliseum.

Many school officials were in attendance, among them lawyer Jack Sarausad and Cebu City Sports Center commissioner Jessica Honoridez of University of Cebu, lawyer Paulino Yabao of University of Southern Philippines-Foundation, Jon Inot of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo, Cathy Vestil of Cebu Doctors University, Pio Solon of Southwestern University, and Dr. Rhoel Dejaño.

The highlight of the opening was the crowning of Miss Cesafi. After the nine contestants paraded, the winner was Catherine Encabo of the UC Main campus. A basketball three-point shootout followed with Froilan Mangubat of the USC Warriors winning the contest with a record 24 points.

This abbreviated season, a total of 13 sporting events are to be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, chess, dancesport, football, E-sports, karatedo, scrabble, table tennis, taekwondo, and lawn tennis. The festivities will end on May 21 with the final events in athletics, badminton and football.

SHORT MESSAGE. Allow me to share with you the short message that I delivered last Friday:

Today is April 22, 2022. The last time a Cesafi game was played was three years ago and the date was also “22.” That was in Nov. 22, 2019.

I did some math and it has been exactly 882 days since the last game of Cesafi was played. Who would have imagined that Cesafi will go for 882 days without any games? Never in the league’s history (22 years old next year), did we imagine this.

Two things that I want to share with you.

First, let us be thankful—thankful that we are alive, thankful that we are all here. Let us be thankful that we are healthy. All of us here, during the pandemic, have lost someone that we love and someone that we know. Family members. Friends. Relatives. Maybe even a former coach or player.

Let us be thankful for the gift of life and the gift of good health.

Which brings me to my second point: No amount of money or power or fame can compare to the value of good health.

Good health is most important. What the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us—and Dr. Rhoel Dejaño will agree—is this: the healthier we are, the more active we are, the more into sports we are, the better our bodies can fight and resist these viruses, illnesses and diseases.

Sports are therefore very important.

So if there is one “positive” to learn from this pandemic, it’s to put more value on our good health, to be fitter and stronger, to play and play and play more sports.

We have learned the extra value of sports.. that it’s not just all fun and games. Sports are not just for entertainment. Sports is not just to keep score.

Sports, literally, can save our lives.

And so today, we celebrate sports. We celebrate the return of sports. We celebrate, after 882 long nights and days, the return of Cesafi.

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