LUNA, Apayao – Host Apayao State College (ASC) stole the limelight from the six other participating state universities and colleges as it peeped from a dismal seventh place last year to a strong second place this year behind defending champion Benguet State University (BSU). BSU withered an early charge from host ASC to retain the over-all championship in the 2014 Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges Athletic Meet with various individual and team events held in different venues in this capital town.
The defending champion took home a total of 53 gold, 38 silver and 15 bronze medals to claim their fifth straight title in the annual regional sports meet among State-run higher education institutions in the different parts of the Cordillera. In dominating the four day sports event held December 3 – 6, BSU took home gold medals in dance sports(2), arnis (8), baseball(9), chess(4), lawn tennis(2), sepaktakraw(9), softball(9), and table tennis(4).
Apayao, after a first day romp of 12 gold medals slowed down in the remaining days but still toke a surprising second place following their dismal seventh place finish last year with a 35-40-18 medal haul in the tournament after. The host college took home gold medals in the dance sports(2), arnis (9), athletics (5), women’s basketball (5), table tennis (4), tae kwon do (4), and women’s volleyball (6).
“We are very happy with the performance of our school. From last place we were able to jump to number two and that is a big achievement for us,” said ASC president Nieves Dacyon. “Our target was originally to land at third but our athletes were so inspired because of the overwhelming support from the provincial government, the seven municipal governments that hosted the seven delegations from the state universities and colleges in the region, the provincial offices of the national government agencies and the people of Apayao,” added Dacyon.
Mountain Province Polytechnic State College slid to number three with their 20-18-24 medal haul. The medal haul came from arnis(8), athletics (4), badminton (4), and tae kwon do (4). Landing at number four is Abra State Institute of Science and Technology with 15-9-9 with bulk of the medal coming from men’s basketball, lawn tennis and tae kwon do while Ifugao State University finished fifth with 14-28-25.At sixth place is Kalinga – Apayao State College with 8-11-26 while University of the Philippines Baguio rounded up the competition at seventh place with 1-4-13 haul.
Calanasan Mayor Elias K. Bulut, Sr., who is the president of the League of Municipalities (LMP) Apayao chapter and who was the competition’s guest of honor and speaker, cited the importance of camaraderie and brotherhood among Cordillerans amidst cultural differences because it will be the one to help the region gain recognition in local, regional, national and even international sports tournaments.
“Let us strengthen our brotherhood as Cordillerans because we need this as we try to uplift the identity of our region as a source of highly competitive athletes who will be able to excel in their fields of expertise,” Mayor Bulut stressed.
The host of next year’s CARASUC socio-cultural and athletic competitions will be the Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST) based in the capital town of Bangued and Lagangilang.
For his part, Dr. Cerafin Nguhayon, CARASUC and IFSU president, commended Apayao and ASC officials for setting an example in hosting regional competitions which was worthy of emulation by local governments and higher education institutions regionwide, citing that their experience in Apayao is the best so far that they have encountered in the staging of the annual regional socio-cultural and athletic competitions.
“Words are not enough to describe the way Apayao and ASC officials hosted us this year. We are optimistic that we were able to learn lessons on how we will handle our visitors next time,” Nguhayon said.