MANILA, Philippines — Indigenous sports will receive more focus from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) this year, agency chief William “Butch” Ramirez announced earlier this week.
During the PSC’s directional meeting, Ramirez said the board will continue the conduct of the Indigenous Games in more areas around the country.
Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey, oversight commissioner for the Indigenous Games, proposed the institutionalization of the project by making it a regular item in the annual plams and programs of the agency.
This was outrightly approved by the members of the board who were all present in the meeting.
“The law mandates us to nurture our culture. This is a perfect way to merge sports and culture,” explained Ramirez.
He cited the late Mona Sulaiman, a Cotabato native who made her mark in athletics during the '60s; Bana Sailani, a Badjao who won bronze in three Asian Games; and Igorot Jason Balabal, a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, among the athlete achievers who hailed from different indigenous groups.
The first events of the 2018 edition of the Indigenous Games will be held in Mindanao for the first quarter of the year. Events in Visayas and Luzon will follow in the next quarters.
Maxey explained that the Indigenous Games is aimed to promote the rich cultural heritage of our indigenous people as well as preserve their traditional sports and games.
The Games was held last year in Ifugao as part of the gender equality program of the PSC under the Office of Commissioner Celia Kiram.
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