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Children football teams from conflict-affected areas in Samar compete in the prestigious Thirsty Cup

Stormkickers ladies team

February 15, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The Stormkickers and Palapag Football Club competed in the recently concluded 17th Thirsty Cup on February 12, 2023, held at Abellana Sports Complex, Cebu City.

The Thirsty Cup is a 3-day football competition where more than 200 teams from all over the Philippines competed to clench for the championship and be recognized.

Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of 8th Infantry Division organized the team with the Palapag Football Club which was composed of kids from remote barangays or barangays then influenced by NPAs in Northern Samar when he was still the Commander of 801st Infantry Brigade.

The Stormkickers is composed of 10 females and 15 male players that participated in the Ladies Open and Under 19 (U19) Boys Categories, respectively. On the other hand, the Palapag FC has 10 players that participated in the Under 13 (U13) Boys Category.

Under the Ladies Open, the team garnered three wins and made it up to the Quarter Finals, and in the U13 category, the Palapag FC recorded two wins.

Even though the team didn’t advance to the championship finals, Private Rueben Ranille, one of the Stormkickers and Palapag FC coaches, was appreciative of the chance given to these eager football neophytes.

Private Ranille has also expressed his gratitude to 8ID Commander, Maj. Gen. Ligayo, for the new milestone achieved by the team.

“Iyon ‘yong pinaka-first time nilang maglaro at nakakaproud kasi ang mga bata na kasali sa Palapag FC ito ang mga bata na tinuruan ko noong nasa Community Support Program pa ako. Nagpapasalamat kami sa ating 8ID Commander, Maj. Gen. Ligayo, kasi sinusuportahan niya ang mga programa na pang sports. Syempre malaki rin ang aming pasasalamat sa oportunidad na ito kasi alam namin na magbubukas pa ito ng iba pang oportunidad para sa mga kabataan nating football players,” Private Ranille said.

Both teams were coached by two soldiers of 8ID, Philippine Army, Private Rueben Ranille and Corporal Edelyn Panaguiton, and another soldier who also played during the said competition under the Women’s Category, Private Angelie Pagpaguitan.

Meanwhile, 8th Infantry Division Commander, Major General Camilo Ligayo, congratulated the team for their hard work and for making it to the said competition.

“I assure you my full support to sports, especially these football teams. I believe that they will achieve more in the future; we just need to support, help and train them.”

“It is better to immerse our children or youths in sports to give them opportunities which are way better than engaging in activities organized by left-leaning groups,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo concluded.

Palapag Football Club boys team