Sports in UP Mindanao

| Written by UP Media and Public Relations Office

Jezreel M. Abarca Instructor, Department of Human Kinetics UP Mindanao
Jezreel M. Abarca
Instructor, Department of Human Kinetics
UP Mindanao


Volleyball is my favorite sport. It is the reason I became a varsity player in school. I also play basketball, softball, and football.

I also like dance, specifically social dance, because it enhances flexibility and skills. Participation is by twos, such as in cha-cha or tango, and this creates a connection between the partners and it is fun. Also there is appreciation of history in dance.

It would be good if we promoted individual and dual sports such as chess, swimming, badminton, and table tennis. It’s good that we now have swimming. It would be better if we have martial arts so we add variety to the choices available for students. I have encountered students involved in martial arts and teaching it would be an appropriate springboard for those students.

Regarding the UAAP and winning it, we need to focus on scouting. We need more developed scouting procedures. The UP System should scout the different constituent universities.

In our NSTP field classes, we scout for athletes because this is the grassroots, and participants come from junior high and elementary schools. They are given an orientation and background on what UP can offer.

Aside from scouting in different CUs, we should scout outside UP because other universities get the best athletes because of the benefits they offer.

Even within UPMin we need to scout for athletes. In UP we’re really lucky if we get good players such as Juan Antonio Mendoza (BS Agribusiness Economics), our champion swimmer. We’re lucky because it’s an individual sport, which has its advantages.

Winning in team sports presents more difficulties. We may have Ms. Consuegra and Ms. Escamilla, two Palaro-level players, but we need four more players to complete a winning team. So we need more scouting, more orientation outside about UP, and we need to provide information about our existing and active varsity programs for them to aspire for.

We are happy because we had the summer invitational women’s volleyball games last month (April), in which six teams of which five were junior high school students, participated. We declared that our objective is to promote UP and that you are very welcome to take UPCAT and be part of our teams in the near future. We also had an invitational table tennis tournament in May. We need a committee for scouting so we can search for and discover good players.

Two years ago we had a summer clinic in Assumption College in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province where we taught table tennis, football, and volleyball.

Our students are also good in cheer-dance and we are proud of the initiative of the Department of Human Kinetics in having a gymnastic workshop to prepare them for the annual cheer-dance competition. Many of our students have potential in cheer-dance and their efforts are very commendable.


Magno “Magz” Batomalaque Staff, Department of Human Kinetics Student, Diploma in Exercise and Sports Science UP Mindanao
Magno “Magz” Batomalaque
Staff, Department of Human Kinetics
Student, Diploma in Exercise and Sports Science
UP Mindanao


I am not a master of a single sport. I play basketball, volleyball, and table tennis. I like them all.

In our Diploma in Exercise and Sports Science program, my favorite course is anatomy and physiology, the muscle, the bones, the inner and outer parts and divisions of the body, the musculo-skeletal system.

We assembled a real skeleton we borrowed from the biology department—the carpals, the skull, all the parts. We prayed before handling the bones. It’s interactive. I was assigned to assemble the upper arm and identify if it was the left or right and the sex of the subject; to discover the form of the skull and many more. In other courses, we learned the principles of coaching, how athletes are trained before and after games.

In Tagum City we observed the Azkals football team. Before the game, when the stadium was still empty, a cheering crowd set up drums and painted their faces, led by a choreographer. The cheering squad was very enthusiastic before and after the games; everyone was very energetic in cheering.

Other topics in our program nclude sports management, sports testing, and observing the conduct of games or events.

We should promote indigenous games and Filipino games, such as sia-tong and others. Indigenous games are from our forebears, their practices that have become games today. Bows and arrows and spears have become games but in history these were for hunting snakes and animals. This has value because it preserves our culture and it’s also enjoyable.


Armando R. Salazar Assistant Professor, Department of Human Kinetics UP Mindanao
Armando R. Salazar
Assistant Professor, Department of Human Kinetics
UP Mindanao


My favorite sport is badminton. Since the elementary grades I’ve played badminton with my friends. In college I had a good teacher, so I enjoyed badminton because the sport can be fast, slow, or low-arcing, and there are strategies involved.

I advocate sports for environmental protection, such as the extreme sport akin to Frisbee, or skin-diving, also known as snorkeling. It is not a sport but a leisure activity. It is safer, accessible to everyone, and you can do coastal clean-up or coral maintenance, or fish identification. We practice “look but no touch,” except for garbage in the waters. Scuba, on the other hand, is sports diving.

We should promote sports for the environment in our programs, such as camping, although it’s more focused on survival training. These can promote the protection and sustainability of the environment.

Now that we have a sports complex being built, we should have more programs for human kinetics such as an undergraduate program in sports. In scouting and recruitment, other schools have certain advantages in that they have primary and secondary schools from which they hone their students until college. Some promising athletes choose a college that is an underdog school, where they can make a difference in pulling up that school.

In our region, there are many individuals who are teaching or coaching sports by experience, but they have no foundation, something which they need.

We need an undergraduate program because those who will teach sports programs need a proper foundation if we want to improve the performance of our athletes. We cannot beat the offers by other schools. We need an alternative system to overcome these disadvantages. Athletes go to Manila because regional athletes do not have the same level of opportunity in terms of challenges and competition and in benefits. We need more regular tournaments, preferably those that are broadcast on television or can be seen widely, so there will be motivation for local athletes to stay in the region.

The grassroots sports program during childhood is important in providing children exposure to different sports. It is going on in our football or in our NSTP program where we have chess clinics and tournaments in schools. With regular scouting programs within our student population we are limited to identifying latent potential among the existing student population. If we have a Varsity Admission System we can get athletes who are already good in their sport or in dance.

We’d like to have an undergraduate degree in sports so varsity recruits can have an advantage in that upon graduation they will have a future in their career beyond being a player, such as being a coach, teacher, or administrator. In addition, we will be able to add to the public service of the university, to contribute to social equity by distributing equal opportunity to the different disciplines at par with arts and sciences.


Erwin E. Protacio Chair, Department of Human Kinetics UP Mindanao
Erwin E. Protacio
Chair, Department of Human Kinetics
UP Mindanao


I am the president of the Davao-South Regional Football Association (DRFA), one of the 33 Regional Football Associations in the country.

Regional Football Association presidents are members of the Philippine Football Federation Congress. I was elected to the Board of Governors (equivalent to Executive Council/Committee) from 2015 to 2019. I chair the Organizing Committee for PFF Competitions and I’m a member of the Referees Committee and Futsal Committee.

The BOG is the policy making body of the PFF. It sets the directions and thrusts in developing, promoting and controlling the sport. These include determining what age group tournaments the country will field, including the men’s and women’s national teams; hosting of tournaments (like the SEA Games & Suzuki Cup) and courses; and the implementation of the Players ID system, among others.

I am on the Board of Directors of the Liga Futbol Inc., the organizer Philippines Football League—the professional football league in the Philippines. The participating teams are Davao Aguilas FC, Global-Cebu FC, Kaya FC- Iloilo; JPV Marika FC, Ceres–Negros FC, and Laguna–Stallions FC.

Our thrusts for Davao City include:

1. Strengthening the grassroots program (ages 6 – 14 years old) in competitions (for elite & non-elite players). Implementation of 9-a-side format for 12 years old and above, which is usually in 7-a-side; establishment of a Football Academy for elite players; and, extending and hosting the age-group competitions in the Sports Complex;
2. Coaching development (holding the Philippine Youth Coaching License—the initial entry to formal coaching education and the AFC “C” License Course—which is for grassroots coaches); UP Mindanao is scheduled to host the AFC “C” License Course on July 19-30, 2018;
3. Upgrading the status of referees by hosting Level II and refresher courses; and
4. Hosting games in the Philippines Football League or the men’s national team; the 2019 Festival of Football; bidding for the National Youth Futsal Invitational; and futsal tournaments for college and high school teams.


Read the online UP Forum April-June 2018 Vol. 19 No. 2 issue in full here.