Six years after hosting the State Colleges and Universities Athletics Association (SCUAA) Region 1 Sports Olympics, it was again Pangasinan State University’s turn to mark a jaw-dropping opening ceremony in Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center on November 21.
The 2022 SCUAA Sports Olympics kicked-off with 2,435 delegates and over 4,000 spectators from six competing state universities and colleges.
“It is amazing, spectacular and explosive. We really expected this kind of celebration after more than two years of lockdown,” Dr. Danilo Bose, Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Regional Director, said.
The Director emphasized that during the planning stage, he anticipated the excitement of the student-athletes especially when PSU stepped up as this year’s host-university.
With over two months of preparation, the University headed by the Dr. Dexter R. Buted, made sure that the sporting event will be an avenue to develop a strong and vigorous community following all safety and health protocols.
“The exclusion of some sport events is bound by the guidelines presented in the Commission on Higher Education which mandates the gradual return of all collegiate athletic competitions following the health standards set by our government agencies,” the PSU President and Chair of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges in Region 1 (PASUC-1) said.
Along with Dr. Buted were Dr. Shirley Agrupis, Mariano Marcos State University President; Dr. Jaime Manuel Jr., Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University President; Dr. Gilbert Arce, Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College President; and Dr. Erwin Cadorna, University of Northern Philippines President who enjoined together for the ceremonial hoisting of institutional banner to underline institutional rapport and camaraderie in the Sports Olympics.
During the ceremony that clocked in at slightly over three hours, a pearl-shaped cauldron at the right wing of the sports center was lit by 1992 Olympics Bronze Medalist Roel Velasco after delivering a message.
Velasco, a retired boxer from Negros Occidental, inspired the student-athletes to go an extra mile in reaching their athletic dream with his own version of a medal-finished ingredient, ‘STDDD’.
“Sabi ko nga lagi [hindi] naman ako magaling pero dinaan ko sa Sipag, Tiyaga, Disiplina, Determinasyon at Dasal. [Hindi] lang sa isports maski pati sa pamumuhay natin,” he said.
The Olympian who is also a winning National Coach, emphasized the value of support from school administration to the athletes especially in giving consideration as they juggle learning and sports.
Meanwhile, the sports center was quickly transitioned to a field of green lights as thousands of students of PE and NSTP in PSU-Lingayen presented a 17-minute non-stop mob dance highlighting the rich Pangasinan culture.
Marking the official opening, Hon. Mark Lambino, Vice Governor of Pangasinan, declared the inaugural of the five-day sporting event.
In the end, the opening program concluded with a pyrotechnical display which left the spectators in awe.