May 10, 2015
Today marked the day I have wrapped up my 14th Palarong Pambansa coverage for The Philippine STAR.
I always enjoyed covering this multi-sports event for elementary and high school students because it’s like a festibval of sorts, a showcase of not just athletic and sporting skills and talents by about 10,000 athletes from across the nation but also the products the host–Davao del Norte–can offer like Durian, Mangosteen, etc.
But I’m writing this blog not to pay tribute to the likes of National Capital Region tankers Sacho Illustre and Seth Isaak Martin, who splashed their way to an impressive seven gold medals including multiple record-breakers on the side, nor pocket-sized Northern Mindanao runner Jie Ann Calis, who blew away the field by destroying three athletics marks.
Because this is about these three gymnasts from Davao. Their names are Brian Albert Buhian, Janliver Estabaya and Louie Villacorte, Jr., who returned the P50,000 cash they found somewhere in their billeting quarters. No less than gracious host Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario lauded these kids in the grand closing ceremony at the DavNor Sports and Tourism Complex the night before.
These kids showed us that the Palaro is not all about determination, teammanship, sporting excellence and discipline. They also thought us about honesty. Buhian, Estabaya and Villacorte never won a single medal. But they won our hearts. Their honesty is worth more than the medals others wore on their necks.
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