DAVAO CITY – Badjao Sama swimmers, Maguindanao sprinters, Manobo long-distance runners, and Tausug spikers will be among the indigenous sports talents who will see action in the first-ever Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan (MINSUPALA) Games set to be held next year in Davao City.
Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol aims to relive the glory years of Southern Philippines in producing sports stars like sprinter Mona Sulaiman of Maguindanao, swimmers Jairula Jaitulla and Parsons Nabiula of Tawi-Tawi.
He observes that for most sports officials who belong to the elite class, it is not acceptable to mix unschooled young athletes with rich kids coming from formal schools in a competition, leaving a very slim opportunity for the indigenous talents to discover.
“I believe that Mindanao has a rich reservoir of sports talents which have largely been undiscovered owing mainly to the bias against indigenous athletes”, he said.
The MINSUPALA Games will be the first step in the institutional sports development program for the Southern Philippines aimed at discovering and developing indigenous talents in swimming, track and field, volleyball and other non-contact sports.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez has pledged the support of the PSC to the MinSuPala Games.
“With the modern sports facilities established by the PSC in Davao City, the dream of producing sports stars from among the different indigenous tribes of the South is not farfetched’, Piñol emphasized.
The Games will be held in cooperation with the Governors and Mayors of Mindanao and Palawan with each province participating in selected sports disciplines. minda.gov.ph