LAKE SEBU, South Cotabato - South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes on Thursday, June 14, lauded the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for bringing the 2nd Indigenous Peoples Games (IPG) here, which she said is an "eye opener" for her and the rest of the provincial officials.
Fuentes, in a message during Thursday's opening ceremonies at the Lake Sebu Municipal Gym here, said: "I am honored that we get to host this celebration. I am honored that this event happened because it opened my eyes, nabulaga ang isang realization na ang mga tribo ng ating probinsya ay may mga sports din na nilalaro kahit noon pa."
She said that the province is not only rich in arts, culture and traditions but also in the games that the tribes play.
Thus, she urged the Provincial Board to craft an ordinance to make a provincial celebration of the tribes includingi urge them to craft an ordinance to make a provincial celebration of the tribes that will also feature the IP games.
She bared that South Cotabato is the only province in the country that strictly showcase its authentic songs, dances and fabrics during the annual T'nalak Festival.
"Our celebration may not be as lively as in Cebu (Sinulog Festival) or the Ati-Atihan. Our beat is slow but we never regret it because that is our uniqueness," she said, adding that they don't copy other province's arts and culture as it is the legacy they can leave the next generations.
She also urged IP participants from different participating local government units (LGUs) of Tampakan, Tantangan, Tupi, Polomolok, Lake Sebu, T'boli, Norala and Surallah to value their own uniqueness.
"Pinagmamalaki dapat natin ang ating roots. Hindi natin nakakalimutan anuman ang mga tribo natin," Fuentes added.
PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, for his part, thanked Lake Sebu Mayor Antonio Fungan and Gov. Fuentes for welcoming the IP Games.
"The IP Games is part of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's mantra to make sports accessible to all Filipinos," the Dabawenyo commissioner said.
Action in IP games hemanak, hanaw or kadang, sedeyol be klifak bliboy, setanggung or lechon race, sudul, meyon kuda law, and defut or sfut begins today.
Other provincial board members and Lake Sebu officials also graced the opening rites that showcased the unique traditional dances and songs of participants.