Play. Study. Meet.
Sipal Eskuela 2022, a tertiary sports tourism activity, was officially launched by the University of Antique (UA) as part of its 68th foundation day celebration at UA Traditional Knowledge Center, January 19.
University President, Dr. Pablo S. Crespo Jr. spearheaded the official launching of the said program wherein he talked about the bigger picture of what they were doing in preparation for the event since yesterday.
Sipal Eskuela is one of the two projects of UA along with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that aim to increase the number of students to interact with Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s).
“Out of 112 universities, only 23 State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) were given privilege, and UA is one of them.
There would be a sports summit, a gathering between sports enthusiasts, athletes and coaches to discuss how to cope with sports activities in times of pandemic and how we can unite the different sports organizations in the country,” Dr. Crespo explained.
He said that there will be eco-sports, sports played in nature like Kayaking, Water Tubing, as well as Duathlon and Trail Run as part of the program.
On the other hand, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jelyn O. Alentajan highlighted the evolution steps of education of the university as inspired by CHED’s Study PH program by focusing on tourism.
She mentioned that the appreciation for progressive curriculum that integrates an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach can lead us in achieving internationalized education that encourages foreign students to come to our country as student tourists.
“With the things going on, not just in the University of Antique but in the country, the world is our classroom, the virtual space is our universe, nature is our playground, and everyone is our teacher. This, for me, captures the essence of Sipal Eskuela,” she said.
During this event, John Ray “Stingray” Onifa from Hamtic, Antique, trail run champion shared his journey as an athlete. He is considered one of Antique’s pride for his achievements in this field.
“I started my career to get out of poverty and support my family in our daily needs for survival. I joined several running activities because our only source of income at that time was agriculture. We have to hunt the deep seas of Dao and Anini-y for fish,” he narrated.
He furthered that his training included running three kilometers daily.
This led him to join the Antique marathon held in Anini-y in 2016 where he became the champion after completing a 21- kilometer trail.
Onifa expressed that he discovered his potential in running and soon after, he joined different running competitions in Panay. He hoped to inspire everyone through his dedication and passion.