CALL TO PATRIOTISM

For some days now, we have been hearing sad news of our dear doctors at the frontlines succumbing to the dreaded COVID-19. Then there is the news about old people not having food to eat, people who sleep on floors, under bridges because they cannot go home. Have you seen the ones about parents who can only wave to their children for fear of giving them the virus. It breaks your heart. As much as one wishes to remain optimistic, it really puts a cloud over one’s head, and knife straight into one’s heart.


I am sure that many of us wish we can do something, or we can do more.


These challenging times call all of us to be patriots. In ordinary times but more so in extradordinary ones as we have now, we are called upon to do heroic things.

Whether to be called at the frontlines or to stay home, we can all do our share to be part of this problem’s solution.


You might have read news articles about certain government buildings to be converted to temporary medical facilities, the PSC’s Philsports Complex included. This is true.


Not only the Multi-Purpose Arena and the Philsports track oval, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is being considered as well.


We offered the facilities to help decongest hospitals. We have the space -- newly renovated, fully airconditioned with a steady water supply. We have already discussed this with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.


The Department of Public Works and Highways have sent their staff to survey the Pasig venue and are set to also visit the RMSC next week.


I understand that some sectors might become concerned over this. We are not putting our athletes at risk as all but a few of them have left for their respective homes.

If anyone, it would be my wife, my self and the medical and security staff manning the facilities which would be bnearest the risk as we all live in the complex. Rest assured though that we will make every step to ensure that safety of all concerned will be ensured and that the facilities are disinfected thoroughly after that virus finally say goodbye. How we all wish that would be soon.


Sports has been placed at the back burner during this trying part of our journey as a people, and understandably so. However, it does not mean we just all sit and watch. Trusting the spirit that drives every person (whether as an athlete, a parent, an official or an employee) whose soul is somehow intertwined with sports ---- to always achieve, to always fight for a cause, I know that you all understand why we need to volunteer our facilities in the interest of the greater good.


These times call for unselfish patriotism. These times call for everyone to be heroes, even. Let us step up to the plate, so to speak. This is us, the sporting community stepping up to bat.


To paraphrase a dear friend, Bro. Karl Gaspar -- instead of doing things in selfish motive, in pursuit of happiness, do things that would ensure happiness of all so that there is flourishing of one’s life.


Sports is not a career, it is a vocation. I have realized this in the course of my almost 50 years in sports. I will be turning 70 in May, and many times, whether as an athlete, a coach, a teacher or as a leader these words come to mind and fortify my spirit:


I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)


We are all called to battle, on different capacities. May we all be the best soldiers at the positions we are given the responsibility to man. May we never give up hope. May we never cease to believe. If not for ourselves, for the people who need it most.


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Thank you Dr. Serg Opena, PhD in Occupational Development, Bro. Karl Gaspar and Fr. Pons Suico whose wisdom that they unselfishly share help to feed my faith and strengthen my resolve.