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Cong. Mel Senen Sarmiento’s speech during the EVRAA 2011 Opening Ceremonies
NwSSU Oval, Calbayog City
January 30, 2011


Cong. Mel Senen Sarmiento EVRAA 2011


With the huge crowd composed of the different contingents, I cannot help but realize how time flies so fast. It seemed it was only yesterday when I addressed almost the same number of athletes, officials, coaches, and DepEd big wigs when the city first hosted EVRAA meet in 2003. It was tho’ a different scenario because as the Mayor then, I was the most nervous individual as I entertained apprehensions on the “what ifs” in terms of possible pitfalls. Luckily, as articulated by the different stockholders who came, the city passed the regional meet with hosting “flying colors”, so to speak. That’s the beauty of collaborative efforts between and among the key players in that undertaking.

As I do my task now, I aptly describe myself as someone looking at the beauty of the mountain from afar. As the 1st District Representative, my official seat is in the House of Congress in Batasan Hills complex, Quezon City and I spend most of my working time there and at the same time on a weekend, scheduled consultations, summits and related activities with my constituents in the different municipalities and this component city. Gracing this opening program is not only an official function but one that is done with gusto and warm affection because I have never alienated myself from DepEd, both in the regional and division levels, respectively. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, I have a lighter feeling as I am more relaxed because it is now Mayor Uy’s turn and I am just part of his support system.

As a very strong advocate of education, I always put premium on education in my congressional agenda.

This year’s theme, “School Sports: An avenue for Values Development towards Transformations” carries with the challenge of raising over above pure athletics and rising this meet to develop values leading to transformation. If we want a better Philippines, then let’s focus on our children and our youths. As role models to them, we adults need to exemplify the values we advocate as it is said, “Values are caught, they are not taught”. Guided by this realization, may I urge everyone especially the coaches, the officials and chaperons to be mindful that our athletes and wards are watching us even during our unguarded moments. More than the rudiments of sports while playing in the field, they learn more from what we say and do while taking care of them. I know that it is difficult, but it is possible and the time to begin is now. Let us not postpone doing good things as there is a sense of urgency to do the right things as we do our share in the concretization of His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III “pagtahak sa matuwid na daan patungo sa kaunlaran”. This applies to all facets of any undertaking, be it sports or otherwise.

In closing, allow me to congratulate the City Government thru the able leadership of Mayor Uy and Vice Mayor Aquino and the Legislative Council and DepEd thru School Division Superintendent Edita Y. Paculan and Mr. Raul Agban, her assistant for heeding the call and once again taking up the challenge of this year’s hosting. Be consoled that while it is laborious, it is also meritorious and the lingering effect after everything is over, is more than enough to sustain us for the next round of hosting. God willing, if there is such a thing as liberating fatigue, then this is what it is all about.

My role this afternoon is incomplete unless I articulate my version of welcoming our guests in our dialect, “Uswag kamo sa Calbayog ug tagamtami niyo an amon mapaso na pag-ataman ug pag-alakapa”. Here is a wish that your stay is both work and leisure combined. To the athletes and coaches, good luck and bring home the bacon, while the officials, here is the reminder not only to have eyes wide open and ears ready to listen but more importantly, open your heart so you may patiently respond to complaints and protests with fairness and kind understanding.

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat!   (Running time 0:16:08)