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Mens Sana in Corpore Sano: NFH Sportsfest in this 500th Year of Christianity in the Philippines

Calbayog City: After rescheduling and postponing the opening of the Sportsfest for the second semester of the Formation Year 2020-2021 due to unfavorable weather, we were finally granted the providence of clear skies on the 31st of January. A buzz filled the air as the community of Nazareth Formation House gathered at the seminary basketball court under the glow of the three-pm sun. All were wearing the assigned color of their teams.

The previous semester and last year’s sportsfest was centered on the current events of that year. Well this year, the sports committee decided to take on a makabayan approach.

The year 2021 marks the 500th year of Christianity’s arrival in the Philippine Islands. In March of 1521, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan anchored on the shores of the Philippines. And in April of the same year, a recorded 800 indios were baptized on the island of Cebu.

To commemorate such a milestone, the teams for this year’s sportsfest were named after three of the five ships that Magellan brought during his voyage: team one Concepcion, team two Trinidad, and team three Victoria. The team colors as well were chosen from the colors of the Philippine flag; blue, red, and yellow respectively.

The whole affair was hosted by Jude Matthew Bajao, the chairman of the sports committee. The event kicked off with an opening message of our rector Fr. Melchizedek De Lara. He highlighted that by engaging in sports, aside from taking a bath, we get the opportunity to strengthen our immune systems and thus have a higher chance of resisting the CoronaVirus. And after that, it’s the usual: cheering competition, lighting of the cauldron, opening games – you know the works.

Because we were filled with enthusiasm and energy, we funneled these by engaging in a zumba session led by the sports committee which got us tired and sweaty, but up for more. Then we participated in the opening games. The upside of having the event in the morning, apart from seeing clearly, you really get to feel that you are indeed going to be engaging in sports. Therefore, double the hype!

Later that Sunday afternoon, the handing of certificates and awarding of the outstanding players of the ball games during the previous sportsfest was held. Rookie of the Year Award was given to Roldan Armella for the game of Basketball. Rodman Ganton bagged the same award for the game of Soccer, as well as Jessie Macapaz Jr. for Volleyball. The Most Valuable Player award for basketball was earned by Rey Novecio Jr. The same award was garnered by Antonio Virtudazo Jr. for volleyball, and Frederick Atamosa for soccer. The Overall Champion of last year’s sportsfest was team Black Mamba.

In the next few months, the three teams will be fighting for the top place in both indoor and outdoor games. However tense and close the competition might seem, we will always keep in mind the spirit of sportsmanship and brotherhood which we are striving to uphold as Calabrianos.



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