Baybay priest opens charity basketball tourney for Typhoon Agaton victims
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A priest in Baybay City, Leyte is organizing a fund-raising basketball event to uplift the downhearted victims of Tropical Storm Agaton.
Father Arthur Duarte, the chaplain of the Franciscan College of the Immaculate Conception (FCIC) and member of the Diocese of Maasin opened the first FCIC Invitational Basketball Tournament last Sunday at the FCIC gymnasium in Baybay City.
The basketball tournament is scheduled every weekend throughout the rest of 2022, at the FCIC gymnasium and various barangay-based gymnasiums throughout Baybay City.
According to Duarte, one of his main goals in organizing the tournament is to raise funds to purchase sports equipment for the youth who are victims of last April’s calamity.
“Ang main goal jud ani kay ang proceeds kay para mapalit namo ug sports equipment sa mga kabatan-onan sa mga apektadong barangay diri sa Baybay nga naigo sa Tropical Storm Agaton. Ang sports man gud dako na ug tabang para ma shift ilang attention because traumatizing pud to ang nahitabo nila, ug para pud madasig sila nga magpadayon sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka kinabuhi bisan sa kalisud,” Duarte told CDN Digital.
He partnered with the sports consultant of the Sisters of Mary School (SMS) sports program, Van Halen Parmis who also runs a youth sports academy in Baybay City.
“Passionate sad ko sa basketball so, akong gi gamit ni nga sports para makatabang sa victims sa typhoon, labi ang mga landslide survivors para maka cope up sad sila sa ilang painful experience kay kahibalo man jud ta nga dako jud ug effect ang sports para ma motivate ang mga batan-on,” Duarte explained.
He revealed that Parmis conceptualized the league and assigned him as the tournament organizer.
Duarte said that there are four barangays in Baybay that are heavily affected by Tropical Storm Agaton.
“Hundreds of people are affected kasagaran natabunan ang mga balay, so sa eskwelahan lang usa sila nagpasilong, while nag sige pa sila ug rebuild. Samtang naa pa sila sa evacuation center, nindot pud ato sila hatagan ug chance, labi na ang mga batan-on nga matabangan unya sa atong mapalit nga sports equipment,” added Duarte.
The tournament has four categories, the 40-above, 19-under, 13-under, and girls’ 25-under with around 50 teams vying, including a team from Cebu.
“As a priest, nakakita ko ug relevance ani sa ministry and an opportunity for evangelization para sa mga survivors. Pwede sad nato mahangyo atong mga church goers nga motabang nila. Besides sa basketball tournament, mag pa feeding pud ta sa mga affected areas from time-to-time ug palitan pud nato ang mga bata ug sapatos, clothes, ug hygiene kits,” Duarte said.
For his part, Parmis was touched by the survivors’ stories and how they remained motivated amidst the calamity they’ve experienced.
“The proceeds of this tournament will benefit the survivors of typhoon Agaton that struck Baybay City a few months ago. I am very happy that Baybayanons took the call of unity through sports for the less fortunate,” said Parmis. /rcg
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