Wednesday 21st of August 2019

ASCU SN 2019: Leaving IFSU’s footprints at the Ilocandia

“IFSU, for the win,” this was the happy and resounding cheer of the Ifugao State University (IFSU) employee-athletes during the Association of State Colleges and Universities-Solid North (ASCU-SN) Summer Olympics hosted by Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Batac, Ilocos Norte.

ASCU-SN is an annual summer Olympics for employee-athletes of state colleges and universities (SUCs) in Northern Luzon started in 2012 that aims to strengthen solidarity and goodwill among the SUCs in regions 1, 2, 3 and CAR.

IFSU employee-athletes has been joining this annual meet as ambassadors of the University and to foster sportsmanship and camaraderie among the participants.

This year’s host is in Ilocos Norte. The thought of Ilocos is inviting and promising from its famous cuisines to their historical landmarks. The IFSU delegation endured a 12-hour travel navigating through the mountain clouds, steep and zigzag roads to reach Batac. But the changing scenery from the ridge of the Cordillera mountain ranges to the Ilocos reef is refreshing. The cold winds and mossy forest of Mt. Polis to the cascading waterfalls along the Bessang Pass in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur helped to ease the aching joints due to the long journey.

As mountain people, the sight of the Ilocos shorelines brought excitement to the group. Selfie-sticks are slowly finding their ways to the bus windows. The names of places especially in the Santa towns are also an eye-opener.

The delegation arrived in the evening of May 7, 2019 at Batac. One vehicle got a free evening tour amidst the strong rain when it missed its destination. The City of Batac National High School accommodated all the CAR SUCs. The IFSU delegation slept in the classrooms assigned to the University. There were inconveniences such as shortage of water and other facilities but it did not dampen the spirit and excitement of IFSU employees to showcase their talents and skills in their different events.

President Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon led the IFSU contingent during the parade around the campus despite rain showers. President Dugyon along with Dr. Martina B. Labhat, IFSU Sports Director were recognized along with the other 19 SUC Presidents who attended the opening program.

The first game played was the basketball (45 and above) between IFSU and the University of Northern Philippines (UNP). The game was without a heated argument between the officiating team and the UNP players. The game resumed after both parties resolved the issues raised. IFSU team led most of the game but lacked the stamina to finish the game.

The delegation relatively did well in volleyball men and women in their respective brackets. They emerged undefeated in their brackets and automatically qualified for semifinal spots. The volleyball men suffered their first defeat at the hands of a more prepared team, the Pampanga State Agricultural University. They settled for third after Cagayan State University defaulted. In a similar result, the volleyball women also placed third.

For the track and field events, Mr. Roy Agpalza of IFSU Potia outrun its counterparts during the 100M and Fun Run for 45 and above category to rank first in both events. Ms. Karen M. Cumti garnered 3rd during the 5K Fun Run and 100M. IFSU women relay team also placed 3rd in the 4x4 Relay. Their men counterpart did well in participating in the 100M and 4x4 Relay.

Shotput participants had more fun during the throwing event. The participants did their practice during the actual games. Ms. Froylyn Mutal and company did their best but fell shorter than the other teams. John Celoy of Potia Campus and Jeremiah Allawas of Tinoc Campus missed also the winning mark. Other hand, Mr. Primo Whigan also participated for the 45 and above category.

The basketball team (45 and below) did manage to capture two wins before the taller Don Mariano Marcos State University outscored them during their game.

The delegation also enjoyed some funny moments. There are members of the delegation who called themselves “mango-tasters.” As uttered by one participant, “apay a maymayat ti bungan ti manga da ditoy. Atiddog ti tangkay da ken nakikinis da pay. Agala tayu man ta ramanan tayo.” But one said, “ayna, saan a mabalin ta baka bawal. Baka makita tayo.” But the “mango-tasters” said that, “di ba kunan met ni MMSU President nga we are welcome here. She said nga na, “Go around and explore the richness of our culture. Isunga pati daytoy manga ket part na ti exploring the place.”

There are also things that only the Ilocandia can provide that are mouthwatering and can feed a hungry soul. The bagnet is for sure one of the best delicacy for the carnivores. Empanada is also on the list. If visiting Ilocos and missed to eat an empanada, then they say that you missed to allow your taste buds to savor the taste of the Ilocandia.

The Paoay Church is also near the venue. It is a century-old s of church and a testament to the rich history of the Ilocos people. There are also other sites to visit such as the sand dunes, windmills, Pagudpud beach and more.

For the IFSU delegation, ASCU SN 2019 created and strengthened friendships and camaraderie. As IFSU ambassadors, employee-athletes played with their hearts. More importantly, the IFSU employee-athletes had fun and made their stay in Batac a wonderful experience.