Davao City – MinDA partners with Philippine Sports Commission to host the first Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan (MINSUPALA) Games tentatively scheduled on 20-24 April 2020 in Davao City.
MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol aims to revive the golden era of Mindanao as the home of sports icon. “Badjao Sama swimmers, Maguindanao sprinters, Manobo long-distance runners, and Tausug spikers will be among the indigenous sports talents in action in the first-everr Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan (MINSUPALA) Games to be held next year in Davao City,” Piñol said.
The event will be in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). “Chairman William Ramirez has pledged to support the Games, being also the Philippine-lead agency for Mindanao and Palawan’s participation in the biennial BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games which will be hosted by Davao and Tagum City next year,” he said.
Mindanao is an abundant reservoir of sports talents that have been mainly undiscovered owing to the bias against indigenous athletes. He said that for most sports officials who belong to the elite, it is simply unthinkable for a brown-haired Badjao kid born and raised in the sea to compete for side by side with a fair-skinned International School-educated lad from Forbes Park.
When asked about the objective of the Games, the Secretary emphasized that it is expected to discover indigenous sports talents in swimming, track and field, volleyball, and other non-contact sports.
“The MINSUPALA Games will be the first step in the institutional sports development program for the Southern Philippines. It aims to discover and develop indigenous talents that do not have formal training in their field of discipline yet excels mainly due to their natural talents,” he added.
Citing some underrated Mindanawon homegrown sports talents in the past, he specifically talked about 1962 Asian Games Maguindanao sprinter Mona Sulaiman who later became a policewoman and Summer Olympics Tawi-Tawi swimmers Parsons Nabiula and Jairulla Jaitulla.
Jaitulla qualified for the national swimming team with ease and competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Germany and the 1984 Summer Olympics in the United States.
Nabiula competed in two swimming events at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia representing the Philippines.
To attract participants all over Mindanao and Palawan, the Secretary said that MinDA and PSC would invite the Governors and Mayors to be official partners and send representatives in the selected sports contested areas.
The Secretary is confident that in a few years, MINSUPALA could see the birth of more Mona Sulaimans, Parson Nabiulas, Jairulla Jaitullas, and Tokal Mokamads, among others.
The MINSUPALA Games will serve as a precursor and elimination activity of Mindanao and Palawan delegates, and winners represent in the 2020 BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games in Davao and Tagum City, and to 2021 Arafura Games in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
Some of the games to be contested on are Pencak silat, karate, swimming, basketball, athletics, beach volleyball, table tennis, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, futsal, and lawn balls. Cultural events will also happen as side activities of the Games.