CLEAN SLATE: Father Saniel and Sports for Peace

Clean Slate: Moses P Billacura

News that Pope Francis has appointed Father Romeo Saniel of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) as apostolic administrator of the Vicariate of Jolo in southern Philippines warms my heart.

When Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez started the Sports for Peace Mindanao movement, Father Romy was one of the few who made the commitment, “for richer or for poorer”.

You see, the Sports for Peace Mindanao, as a non-government organization just like any other NGOs, and its supporters don’t have deep pockets (we can easily fund it, if we won the lotto, no problem).  And yet, it has conducted successful events benefiting the children affected by armed conflicts in Mindanao.

I believe that it was God’s will that Mayor Digong will become President of the Republic.  And what happened then since 2016?  A lot changes took place and the Sports for Peace/Children’s Games have been supported. Kung wala si Mayor Digong, wala si Butch Ramirez sa PSC, so walay suporta sa sports for peace movement.

With Father Romy’s new appointment, I look at this as a boost to the peace efforts through sports.

If you notice ladies and gentlemen, the PSC works closely with Church leaders and volunteers because the Chairman strongly believes that peace can be achieved through the conduct of sports activities.  We are dreamers, true, yet we continue to pursue this dream and prayerfully, that someday, people will lay down their arms because their children, or grandchildren are actively engaged in sports.

Ngano makig giyera man, nga naay duwa ang mga bata.  Way giyera sa, duwa sa ta!

We have to remember that this movement is for the long term and the leaders are very much aware of this.  So, we have started planting the seeds years ago and we should cultivate it in the minds of the young Filipinos today that sports for peace is a way of life and it’s not just duwa duwa lang ug maka kuhag libreng t-shirt. Right Sports for Peace executive director dear sir Ed Fernandez?  

Let us continue to work for peace through sports, even beyond 2022.

Hinaut, maskig dili na President si Mayor Digong ug Chairman si coach Butch Ramirez, sports for peace gihapon tang tanan.

Happy New Year to all!