Bayanijuan celebrates second football fest
MANILA, Philippines – Fourteen football teams from different parts of Laguna gathered to celebrate the second Bayanijuan Football Festival in the newly launched Grandstand and Athletic Field last September 14 in Southville 7, in Calauan, Laguna.
Ambassador Manolo M. Lopez donated P5 million to construct the facility, which now serves as a venue for sports and other recreational activities for the youth in Bayanijuan.
“We would like to thank Gina (Lopez) for giving us the opportunity to help. My father is pleased that his donation was put to good use,” said Mike Lopez, son of the ambassador. “When he returns from Japan, we will invite him to come here so he can personally appreciate the outcome of his donation.”
Football teams from Sta. Rosa, Calamba, Magdalena, Los Baños, Sta. Cruz and Calauan, as well as one team from Payatas in Quezon City, participated in the football festival, which was sponsored by the Consuelo Alger Foundation.
“Studies show that sports programs are very helpful for the youth, as this can boost happiness, motivation, and focus,” said Atty. Mia Castro, the executive director of the Consuelo Alger Foundation. “It can also keep children away from trouble.”
“Sports is really important. It’s good for both health and spirit,” added ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Gina Lopez.
The Bayanijuan Project aims to strengthen the health of its residents through physical exercise, recreation, and inculcating values in sports. Ultimately, Bayanijuan aims to develop athletes from the community and eventually from the project of Laguna.
Futbol Filipinas Academia from Sta. Rosa won in the under-12 and under-14 categories; while the Payatas Football Club triumphed in the girls under-16 category. The Laguna Football Club won the boys under-16 category.
Bayanijuan project director Girlie Aragon said there was a significant change within the community due to the football festival.
“During our first festival, we had tall grasses. We did not have a grandstand nor this field. This time, we see all these wonderful improvements,” she said.
“We are a modest community. We thought of football, because the little kids are getting edged out of the basketball court. So what we did was to set up a football field so they could have a place for themselves,” she added.
The Bayanijuan sa Southville 7 is the official resettlement site of ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.’s Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig, in its efforts to provide decent life to the former informal settlers of the esteros connected to the Pasig River. – by Ana Junio