It’s a biennial highlight on the calendar of the Mindanao Peace Games: the MPG Leaders’ Summit in Singapore. From July 17 to 22 a group of 11 MPG leaders immersed themselves in arguably one of the finest (school) sports cultures in Asia. The theme of this second edition of the Leaders’ Summit was “See Wide, Think Deep,” underscoring the crucial importance of transformational experience – a key MPG objective.
Out of the 11 participants 8 had never been outside the Philippines. MPG Convener Noli Ayo says he sees great value in going outside the country to go beyond what we think sports is about.
“Going to Singapore and visiting premier institutes of education and sports, shows us how far we are from global excellence – and which avenues there are to gradually catch up. It also reaffirms our belief that excellence in sports doesn’t solely rely on government support. In Singapore, that excellence is underpinned by public-private partnerships.”
To maximize the available time, the itinerary of the group of MPG leaders included no less than 6 stops:
1. Sports Recreation Center of Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
2. University Sports Center of National University of Singapore (NUS)
3. National Institute of Education of Singapore (NIE)
4. Singapore Sports Institute (SSI)
5. Universal Studios Singapore
6. NorthStar Gymnastics
The participants were hosted and accommodated by NTU, ranked the 11th best university in the world, and 3rd best in Asia. The coaches and sports leaders from Mindanao were particularly impressed with NIE’s PES department where prospective PE teachers enroll to obtain a license. This visit was eye-opening because it exemplified that physical education is a serious discipline that requires the right qualifications.
“You cannot be what you cannot see”
Reflecting on their experiences in Singapore, several MPG leaders wrote short testimonials with their key takeaways.
“Being a leader you must be a servant first with character. Leadership is not a position or a title. It is action and example. Set yourself as model with “Mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body.” (Ms. Jessica Esparrago, Sports Coordinator, Xavier University – Cagayan de Oro)
“Excellence can be achieved and excellence is a decision. To succeed, you must first envision success. You cannot be what you cannot see. Look beyond setbacks and limitations and move forward with hope and faith.” (Mr. Dion Capinpin, Sports Organizer/ Coach, Ateneo de Davao University)
“Going to Singapore strengthened my resolve not to do many but much for Mindanao. It widened and deepened my love for Mindanao despite its limitations and inconveniences. In Mindanao, I will continue forming leaders of change, especially among the youth within my circle of influence.” (Fr. Angelo Buenavides, Sports Organizer / Coach, Saranggani Peace Network, Inc.)
Network that works
To Noli Ayo, the successful 2nd MPG Leaders’ Summit in Singapore is proof that the program is part of a network that works.
“Compared to the first edition, our access to some of the institutes was greater and we really were allowed to see wider and think deeper. The meaningful connections we’ve created with our friends in Singapore will hopefully only grow stronger.”
The Leaders’ Summit in Singapore program has been made possible through partnership with SMART Communications and the ADDU Blue Knight Association, Inc. It is a biennial program of the MPG that started in 2017. Only those who attended the annual MPG Discover Leadership Program are invited to attend the Leaders’ Summit. Since 2017, 19 MPG leaders have been able to undergo this transformational experience. The next MPG Leaders’ Summit will be in July 2021.
List of all participants 2nd MPG Leaders’ Summit in Singapore:
1. Mr. Emmanuel Rene Ayo, University Athletics Director, Ateneo de Davao University
2. Mr. Reynaldo Mancia, Sports Coordinator, Iligan Medical Center College
3. Fr. Angelo Buenavides, Sports Organizer/ Coach, Saranggani Peace Network, Inc.
4. Mr. Arquel Dagohoy, Sports Coordinator, Father Saturnino Urios University – Butuan
5. Ms. Lilibeth Boligor, Director for Student Affairs, Father Saturnino Urios University – Butuan
6. Ms. Jessica Esparrago, Sports Coordinator, Xavier University – Cagayan de Oro
7. Mr. Ricky Tadlip, Facilities Manager, Xavier University – Cagayan de Oro
8. Mr. Dion Capinpin, Sports Organizer/ Coach, Ateneo de Davao University
9. Mr. Roland Guadalupe, Sports Organizer/ Coach, Mindanao State University-Marawi
10. Mr. Wemir Joy Cupin, Sports Coordinator, La Salle University of Ozamis
11. Ms. Jinky Arriola, Sports Coordinator, St. Joseph Institute of Technology – Butuan