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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 30, 2012

 

DepEd ASEC Umali exhorts EVRAA athletes for best performance

SOUTHERN LEYTE, Maasin City, Jan 30 (PIA) -- Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali of the Department of Education (DepEd) quoted a prayer for inner peace as his way of encouraging players participating in the Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) to strive for victory but learn from defeat.

“Let me share with you a serenity prayer: Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” Asec Umali said during the grand opening ceremonies yesterday, January 29 for the week-long EVRAA meet in this city where he was the keynote speaker.

He called on the athletes to maintain a winning attitude yet humble enough to take a loss and in the process acquire wisdom on how to distinguish, find meaning in the midst of losing or winning, as the serenity prayer suggests.

Umali, DepEd Asec for legal and legislative affairs who was introduced by Luisa Bautista-Yu, DepEd Regional Director, also exhorted the players to aim high, saying that their participation in the EVRAA was like writing a portion of their own life story.

“It feels good to be recognized, but first we must be good to be recognized,” Umali stressed before over 5, 000 athletes from 10 competing contingents around Eastern Visayas standing in the oval grounds as his captive audience, along with visiting dignitaries sitting in the grandstand, among them Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone.

The opening program was preceded by a colorful parade, as the different delegations, interspersed by various drum and bugle corps, endured the searing hot afternoon sun.

Governor Damian Mercado and Rep. Roger Mercado welcomed the visiting guests in behalf of the province and the congressional district, respectively, while OIC-Asst. Schools Division Superintendent Genis Murallos of the host division greeted the guests to the “city that cares for your health” in the very first smoke-free EVRAA tourney.

For his part, City Mayor Maloney Samaco declared that Maasin may be Region 8’s smallest city and smallest schools division, but “the city has a big heart.”

Among the highlights of the opening ceremonies was the hoisting of the EVRAA flag by Mayor Samaco and DepEd Director Yu, and the raising of the banners by various delegation heads and muses.

Mary Joy Calapre of the host division, who was the Batang Pinoy 2011 Gold Medalist in Tennis, led the recitation of the athletes’ oath of amateurism, while Cesar Verunque, Regional Sports Coordinator, did the same for the officiating officials.

When darkness approached, City Mayor Samaco and six other nationally-acclaimed winning athletes from Maasin carried the burning Friendship Flame in a run around the oval and led the lighting of the EVRAA urn.

As Director Yu made the formal declaration of the EVRAA Meet 2012, a dazzling display of fireworks lasting about 10 minutes illuminated the skies to the amusement of everyone.

The 2012 EVRAA meet, the second the city hosted since 2005, carried the theme “School Sports: Avenue for a Healthy Lifestyle.” (PIA 8-Southern Leyte)

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