LingawDuwa, the Filipino Sporting Event of the Year, gathered more than 200 individuals on May 31 in Wakaaranga School, East Auckland, New Zealand. The organizers were elated by the turnout, but it was the positive comments from players and spectators that lifted up their spirits.

Nelson Francis Cutillon of the Tribu Ibong Adarna AKLnzPINOYS, wrote: “This is the first time that we've participated and our kids really had a blast that day. They were hesitant at the onset because it was out of their comfort zones but as soon as they started playing they were on to it. And even after the event they couldn’t stop talking about it. They learned fun Filipino games in a great way."

Lorna Mae Esplaguera of Tribu Banggiitang HaringBuang said, “Thank you for this event and letting us enjoy and remember what it used to be playing these street games. It was amazing and a great experience! Great to meet new people, and we competed not to win but to have fun.”

While the mature showed their expertise in games such as siatong and takyan, the youth demonstrated vigor and speed in dakup-dakup, bato lata and tubig-tubig. The kids were simply amazing as they competed in luksong tinik, luksong lubid, biko and bato lata. One old timer cut down all competitors in dama.

The congregation of families, the praying for Blessie Gotingco, the salo-salo among tribes, and the cheering of support for players in the heat of the competition made the whole experience magical.

During the weeks leading to the tournament, teams came out with funny group names such as Tribu Irong Kagiron, Tribu Itoy sa Irong Kagiron, Tribu Machong Baboy, Tribu Sipat nga Putyukan, Tribu Iring Gilaygit and Tribu Sigbing Gahayang. Of these, Tribu Sipat nga Putyukan led by Roland Abadingo took the Best Presentation award for their bumblebee black-and-gold uniform look.

What made the games more interesting was the participation of non-Filipinos who were either friends or members of extended families, and a number of them won in their events.

The tribus were quite inspired in competing as Radio New Zealand and Prime TV covered the opening ceremonies of the event.

During the awarding of prizes, it was noticeable that everyone had fun, which was the primary focus of LingawDuwa. The overall winner was Tribu Machong Baboy led by Ching Mandawe. It won three (siatong, tubig tubig and bato lata) out of the four group events. More elating was the commitment of many to return for next year’s event.

Surely, there will be more spirited competition, more enjoyment and hopefully, more participants.

Jude Bruce Dosado, of last year’s champion Tribu Irong Kagiron, said, “The championship trophy that we had to give away, we aim to win back next year.” To which a supporter commented: "Eng, eng, eng!"