DAVAO ORIENTAL – Embracing their triumphs in conquering their disabilities and imperfections with heads up high, 300 persons with disabilities from the province of Davao Oriental and neighboring provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur heeded to the call to come together in a show of force, confidence, and explosive performance in sports in the 1st PWD Congress at the Provincial Capitol Covered Court on June 17-18, 2018.
“This is the first time that the province is holding this kind of event. And we are happy that you are all here, strengthening comradeship. This is also in pursuance to the thrust of Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang to give utmost attention to all persons with disabilities. We are doing this for you not to feel secluded, that we are one,” said Sarah Godes, PSWDO Officer of Davao Oriental.
For the provincial government, the activity showcasing the abilities of the PWD’s is a clear manifestation of the direction of Gov. Nelson Dahanghirang towards good and inclusive governance.
“The Governor has been consistent with his directive that no one should be left behind. We will work together and we will reap and share the fruits of our labor, regardless of our belief, religion, educational attainment and economic status,” explained Mr. Ednar Dayanghirang, Chief of Staff of the Provincial Governor’s Office.
When the Basketball on Wheels exhibition game between Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte took centerstage, the crowd was in awe. They were amazingly doing it their own way, from dribbling the ball, trying a safe steal, timely pass of the ball, and finally making it to the goal, and nailing that point and score.
Of course, there were instances when they stepped out from their wheelchair in the desire to shoot the ball and make a steal, but no pain showed off, they were able to stand again, and the passion of the game was very evident.
Moises Escobar, already a national team member from Davao del Norte, emphasized that playing was not their only focus.
“We are not here just to play. We are here to promote an advocacy. We also have our talent and capacities. To parents with children with disabilities, their strength should come from you. Guide them, never let insecurity and self-pity dwell in them,” he said.
Another player said, “let us go out. We have nothing to be ashamed of, not our disabilities. May we inspire others to engage on activities where they excel. We hope that Davao Oriental can organize their own basketball on wheels team.”
Mrs. Evelyn Vallar, a Consultant of the provincial government, added that those born with disabilities already can easily accept their fate than those whose disabilities were caused by accidents.
“It’s difficult for them because they were able to enjoy already a normal life before the accident came. So let us not deprive them a helping hand so the healing process will be easier and fast,” she furthered.
PSWDO Gudes said that the provincial government is now bent to ensure that there will already be a PWD office and focal persons in the different LGU’s in the province, since there is already a mandatory budget to this.
Other games played were one leg marathon, dart, and chess, where the PWD’s gave their all, and making their limitations not a hindrance, but the reason for living a beautiful life.Photos by Karen Lou Deloso