TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte- Under the searing heat of the afternoon sun, the 2016 Davao Region Athletic Association (DAVRAA) Games came to a lively and festive end, reinvigorating the sense of community and humanity among thousands of delegates from the 10 schools divisions of the Davao Region.
There was no trace of hostilities in the faces of the athletes after battling it out in the five-day friendly competition. There is only an aura of peace, harmony and happiness, as they marched into the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex (DNSTC) in high spirits for the colorful conclusion of the games.
After some 1,034 medals were won depicting the triumph of the human spirit, the whole region bade farewell to the sporting event that displayed the praiseworthy fortitude of the Davao athletes.
There was no elaborate fanfare in the simple but fitting ceremony. Yet, the motley of delegation colors was a sight to behold. The hues are seemingly splashed on the DNSTC Grounds, painting it with a dazzling kaleidoscope of shades.
Defending champion Davao City Durians remained unbeaten for the longest time. They hauled a total of 278 medals, particularly 112 golds, 87 silvers, and 79 bronzes.
However, one can find it difficult now to isolate the Durians from the parade of athletes. They were scattered to different groups according to sporting events, joining athletes from other delegations. This blurred the lines between schools divisions and political boundaries in the region. Gone are the distinct color of each delegation that was so obvious during the kick-off rites. There is now only the mixed colors of one DAVRAA family that is itching to launch a hopeful campaign in the coming 2016 Palarong Pambansa in Albay.
Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, who only stayed a little while and went ahead to catch a flight for Manila, earlier lauded the athletes for their admirable qualities, like outstanding determination, courage, humility in victory and graciousness after defeat.
“We are wrapping up this grand celebration of peace and humanity, with a deep sense of fulfillment and pride,” he earlier told some officials.
Among the highlights of the closing program is the conferment of a certificate of recognition to teacher Rockman Mama for his utmost honesty. DepEd Atty. Alberto Escobarte honored Mama for returning to its rightful owner a lost wallet that contained some P24,000 in cold cash and two separate checks totaling to P152,000.
DepEd Asst. Regional Director Teresita G. Tambagan further commended the commitment of the technical officials, coaches, security personnel, medical teams and all the facilitating committees, which made the event one of the best DAVRAA there is.
The athletes’ resolve and sense of purpose brought pride to their families, schools and hometowns. They went home with renewed vigor in helping push the development and growth of the Davao Region. And they brought along with them best stories and beautiful dreams not only for themselves, but also for others.
Here’s to a successful DAVRAA crusade in the Palarong Pambansa 2016.(Noel Baguio/PIO DN)