“This is a big challenge for our country and we thank the Department of Education (DepEd) for giving us this task,” said Marikina City Mayor Del R. De Guzman at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with DepEd on the hosting of the 6th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG).
The ASG is an annual sports competition among students of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Apart from providing the youth with opportunities to showcase their sporting talents, the ASG promotes solidarity and fosters cultural exchange among the youth of participating countries.
In November 2013, the Philippines hosted a Golf Tournament of the 5th ASEAN Schools Games hosted by Vietnam. Education Secretary and honorary chairman of the 6th ASG Governing Board Br. Armin Luistro FSC explained, “This (ASG) is very important, not only for Marikina but most especially for the Philippines, because here we can showcase the country’s talents in the area of sports and show that we are ready for the world.”
Undersecretary for Regional Operations Rizalino Rivera said, “This is historic, because this is the first time the Philippines will be hosting the ASEAN Schools Games.” Rivera said that the country is privileged to accommodate all the ASG delegates. “The ASG is like the ASEAN Games but for younger people so you could just imagine the scale of participants in this sporting event,” he added.
Participating countries are Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines, as this year’s host. Luistro shared his hopes for the event, “My prayer is that the experiences of the athletes and their delegations will be a lasting memory for them — part of the legacy which we hope to impart to our youth during this administration.” The ASG will be held in the City of Marikina from November 29 to December 7, 2014.