Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Day One at the Mindanao Peace games October 24, 2017

I was invited to attend the Mindanao Peace Games by Noli Ayo and while talking about it, I proposed doing a very quick talk about writing and journalism (my guidelines and secrets that have allowed me to have a successful career) for Ateneo de Davao students. It was their semestral break but we still managed to bring in 13 participants. Not bad. In fact, it was an intimate atmosphere.

The opening program for the 3rd Mindanao Peace Games last more than an hour and 30 minutes. All the participating student-athletes are women and as Coach Noli pointed out, the bulk of the marshals, ushers, and performers were all male. It is their turn to serve, he pointed out. And the cadets of Holy Trinity College of General Santos City provided the most applauded number of the night. 

I was impressed with a lot of things -- from the Ateneo de Davao campus to the entire program to even the people I met. 

The evening was closed out by a wonderful five-course Italian dinner that was hosted by Ateneo de Davao President Fr. Joel Tabora S.J. The food was terrific and I couldn't stop eating (just when I am trying to lose weight). But the table discussions were the best. I have met a lot of administrators, coaches, and officials in my career and it is easy to spot a blowhard and someone full of themselves. But this table of folks -- from left to right - Mrs. Leticia Salas of St. Joseph Institute of Technology in Butuan with her son, Jospeh; Fr. Joel Tabora S.J.; Coach Noli Ayo; me; Datu Ahmed Paglas (President of Datu Ibrahim Paglas Memorial College of Maguindanao), Ms. Jacel Kiram (President of Pencak Silat NSA); Dr. Rey Albano (President of Holy Trinity College of General Santos City); Fr. Angelo Buenavides (Director of the Socsargen Peace Network), and Dr. Royce Torres (President of the Iligan Medica, Center College) -- were a delight to be with. I absolutely loved the exchange of ideas and talk. 

Then Coach Noli and I ended the evening with coffee at Starbucks! Lovely. 

I was in Davao for only a day and a half of the five-day Mindanao Peace Games but I was very impressed and perhaps more importantly, touched. I am committing myself to this (MPG) for as long as they will have me.

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