UP Cebu Fighting Maroons gear up for coming Cesafi wars

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | September 24,2022 - 03:21 PM
UP Cebu's varsity team captains take their oath of commitment during the launching of UP Cebu's varsity sports program on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. | Glendale Rosal

UP Cebu’s varsity team captains take their oath of commitment during the launching of UP Cebu’s varsity sports program on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. | Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Expect to hear the “U-nibersidad ng Pilipinas” chants roaring from the stands in the upcoming Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) games as the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) Fighting Maroons will field in more than 200 aspiring student-athletes for the first time in the inter-school meet’s history. 

The Fighting Maroons’ varsity sports program was officially launched on Friday evening in the “Unang Hunat, Unang Kiat” event held at the UP Cebu grounds in Barangay Lahug. 

The Fighting Maroons will be the 14th Cesafi member school that will take part in the latter’s much-awaited return after more than two years of hiatus due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tonight, we take pride that despite being the youngest and smallest unit, the University of the Philippines Cebu will be competing in future meets including Cesafi, Scuaa, the city and provincial meets,” said Lawyer Leo B. Malagar, UP Cebu chancellor, in his speech during the event.

“In the future, we will compete in national and international events. Matatapang, sumasali kahit walang budget, matatalino maglalaro kahit hirap sa acads. Walang takot kahit kanino, hinding hindi, magpapahuli. Ganyan kaming mga taga YUPI!,” Malagar said.

(In the future, we will compete in the national and international events. Determined and brave to join even if there is no budget, intelligently playing even if it is a challenge in the academic side. Fearing no one and always trying to be first. That is who we are at YUPI!)

UP Cebu will compete in 14 sports events in e-sports, chess, scrabble, dancesport, table tennis,  badminton, arnis, athletics, swimming, softball, beach volleyball, football, volleyball, and basketball in the upcoming Cesafi season on Oct. 15, 2022. 

Joining Cesafi

Amidst the excitement and huge expectations, many asked what took UP Cebu too long to join Cesafi. 

Professor Joan Empleo of UP Cebu’s PE program told CDN Digital that the interest in their community in sports flared up when Malagar became the chancellor this year. 

Empleo said that Malagar, a sportsman himself, an athlete during the CAAA days here in Cebu, brought with him a promise to revive UP Cebu’s sports through their varsity program when he took the lead as its new chancellor.

And there’s no better way to impact UP Cebu’s varsity program than by joining the Cesafi. 

“Our participation in Cesafi, honestly, it’s a dream come true. It’s our ambition. We always look up to Cesafi. When the chancellor was given the nomination, he explicitly mentioned that he wanted to revive the participation of UP in sports and other activities through a varsity program,” said Empleo, one of the people leading the formation of UP Cebu’s varsity program. 

“We are trying our best, and our students are showing that they’re proactive; even though we’re still looking for coaches, our students are already training by themselves. Their interest paired with their enthusiasm, they’re already doing their best with their practice. Maningkamot mi nga makadaog sad mi (We are working hard so that we can also win), not just participating.”

Excitement builds up 

According to Empleo, excitement is already building up in the UP community as the UP alumni, mostly former athletes and current local sports personalities, came together to help the varsity program. 

“The whole community is very excited, especially the alumni; they came to us, they offered us help by all means. They asked us if we needed trainers and all kinds of support. They also got excited because many alums were former athletes. Even our chancellor is a former athlete during the CAAA days. 

Cesafi commissioner Felix “Boy” Tiukinhoy, who graced the event on Friday, said that UP Cebu’s inclusion in the meet was a welcome event. 

“This is a welcoming event for UP to join Cesafi because they have a UP community that is very much interested as far as sports is concerned. My understanding that UP community is very willing to support their varsity program,” said Tiukinhoy.

 “In terms of their performance? Well, it remains to be seen because we haven’t seen how they play,” he said.

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TAGS: barangay Lahug, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Cesafi, fighting maroons, Malagar, Unang Hunat, Unang Kiat, University of the Philippines Cebu, UP CEBU FIGHTING MAROONS, UP-Cebu

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