The PYAPI Cagayan Chapter is in parallel to the goals and objectives of the association in providing opportunities for the underprivileged youth of the province. Hence, the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office conducted the 9th PYAPi Summer Youth Camp on April 9 – 11, 2014 in Sitio Banggalau, Barangay Luga, Sta. Teresita, Cagayan with the theme, “PYAPI JOINING TOGETHER FOR PROGRESS”. The activity was geared to uplift the disadvantaged youth through the various activities undertaken, and served as a venue to develop camaraderie, unity and cooperation which promote positive lifestyle among them. The Municipality of Lal-lo was among the 12 municipalities and 1 city which showed its support to this advocacy of the Social Welfare Department. The other municipalities which participated were: Aparri, Baggao, Camalaniugan, Gonzaga and Sta. Teresita in District 1; Ballesteros, Claveria, Lasam and Sanchez Mira in District 2; and Peñablanca, Rizal, and Tuguegarao City in District 3.
The delegates from the Municipality of Lal-lo were composed of: Mr. Santos Sunico, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer and his staff, Mrs. Josephine Amurao and Mr. Jefferson Deocares; Mr. Patrick Ian David; Mr. Felipe Mendez Jr.; and the 26-member PYAPI Lal-lo Chapter.
The group departed at 9 in the morning of April 9, 2014 via the LGU Bus traversing the Magapit-Mission Road. It was a very sunny day with the hope of the PYAPI Lal-lo members to make their journey as bright and successful one. After less than an hour, the bus arrived at the Luga National High School where the camp site was located. The team disembarked with their baggage and camping paraphernalia. Immediately, they put up their camping tent at the designated area per municipality. Some members helped in other errands such as cooking, fetching water from the school’s water pump and water tank provided by the Bureau of Fire Protection of Lal-lo, Sta. Teresita and Gonzaga.. The group had their late lunch after completing the tent. After eating lunch, they had a few hours of rest. At around 5 in the afternoon, the members prepared for the Opening Program. They took their first bath and groomed for the night affair. Come 6 in the evening, the Opening Program started. The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office had put together more than 400 of the province’s youth. The congregation was excited and hopeful. The PYAPI Presidents of each municipality drew lots for the sequence of performances all through-out the encampment. The Municipality of Lal-lo was the 5th performer. The group encircled the camp fire at the middle of the school’s basketball court and the 13 PYAPI Municipal Presidents lit the camp fire. The camp fire symbolized the light that brings all the campers together from darkness, and the flame of camaraderie, unity and cooperation be forever burning in the hearts. Before the official declaration of the summer encampment, the Love the Blind Band entertained the crowd. The band composed of visually impaired youth of Tuguegarao City. After the band’s performance, Mrs. Elvira Layus, the Youth Program Coordinator of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office gave the Opening Remarks while Mrs. Josephine Lopez, the Over-All Chair of the 2014 PYAPI Encampment officially declared the opening of the 9th PYAPI Provincial Summer Youth Camp. After the declaration, the most awaited part of the program immediately followed – the Gay Showdown. Gays from each municipality performed any talent of their own choice. Romeo Antonio Muñoz from San Mariano, Lal-lo wowed the audience and he was the most applauded among the performers during the showdown. The night ended with a smile in everyone’s faces.
Day 2 came. A breath of fresh air and morning dew welcomed the campers as they woke up early in the morning in the middle of nature’s best. The Lal-lo team took their second bath then headed toward breakfast which was patiently prepared by Miss Josephine Amurao. At around 8 in the morning, the campers heard a special mass officiated by the Parish Priest of sta. Teresita. The Priest encouraged the youth to be vigilant enough in doing the right thing and responsible for themselves, for other people and everything around them.
After the mass, the Youth Symposium followed. Personnel from the Commission on Population Region II acted as resource speakers. They discussed about the Reproductive Health Bill and its sub-topics which included teen-age pregnancies, early marriages, sexually-transmitted diseases among others. The symposium lasted until lunch time. The Lal-lo group went back to their station and ate their lunch. After which, they were already eager for the games. The most anticipated event was played first, the basketball. It was a knock-out fight between District 1 and Distrcit 3. District 1 composed of players from Aparri, Baggao, Camalaniugan, Gonzaga, Lal-lo and Sta. Teresita. District 3 composed of Peñablanca, Tuguegarao City and Rizal. It was a little bit tough for District 1 in the 1st Quarter until the 2nd half of the game with an 8-point deficit over 3rd District’s 37 points. Rimando Ligot, Ace Carodan and Melvin Perez were Team Lal-lo’s first 3 with a player from Sta. Teresita and Aparri. It was a challenging game for District 1 making their coach Mr. Jefferson Deocares to maneuver his boys to the right shooting decision. The decision to put 5 Lal-lo boys in the court, completing the 5-man team was a little bit ambivalent and hesitant on the part of District 1 because of the monopolization of the team. However, the other member municipalities agreed on this decision. Nevertheless, the management contested this action and set a rule that the team should consist of 2 or more municipalities per district. Mr. Deocares brought in the court the performances of John Oliver Ligot, Jefferson Pastoral, and Brian Roc. It was in the 3rd quarter that District 1 got saved from drowning by the high scores of the competing team. Darwin Jerusalem, Ace Llanes and Aljo Guillermo also savored the playing moment. It was Ace Carodan, Rimando Ligot and Aljo Guillermo who ultimately saved the team from downfall with a final score of 79-73 in favor of District 1.
The sack race followed with an array of hope among the players of Team Lal-lo. They played in the first set victoriously making them the first one to finish the game alongside Lasam and Aparri as second and third placer respectively. In the final round, they repeated to show their skills in jumping as they bagged the first prize alongside Peñablanca and Gonzaga as second and third placer respectively.
For the volleyball game, Sean Baloran, Monchi Rhalf Sotelo and Ernesto Pascual Jr. played for District 1. They won over District 3 for the 1st round.
After the games, the players rested and the campers ate their dinner as they prepared for the cultural night. The atmosphere was fun and exciting anticipating a showcase of talents from the Cagayano Youth. The night was highlighted by the presence of the Honorable Mayor Lolita Garcia of Sta. Teresita. She encouraged the youth to use their potentials and join together for progress. Also present in the occasion was the Honorable Board Member Melvin Vargas Jr. of the Second District of Cagayan. The Vocal Solo Competition kicked off the night’s event. It was a showcase of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) as agreed by the contest committee. Romeo Antonio Muñoz was the representative of Lal-lo, he sang the song “Dadalhin” by Regine Velasquez. He did his best, but his best wasn’t good enough that night. He gladly accepted the judges’ decision and imbibed in his thoughts the value of sportsmanship. It was the representative of Claveria who bagged the 1st prize. Lasam and Camalaniugan were the 2nd placer and 3rd placer respectively.
Next in line was the Vocal Duet. The Voice Quality, Blending, Rhythm, Interpretation and Stage Presence of Leah Vinagrera and Kim Balamza caught the attention of the judges and the crowd making them the winning pair that night. Claveria and Lasam were declared second and third placer respectively.
Lastly, it was the dancers’ moment to shine for the Pop Dance Competition. Team Lal-lo was composed of Joeffrey Usabal, Obee Baingan, Dom Dom Uniana, Glen Antonio, Roziel Barit and Faye Balais. They rendered a breathtaking performance however it was not enough for the judges to choose as the best group. Team Baggao was declared champion alongside Lasam and Gonzaga as 2nd and 3rd placer respectively.
The night was filled with fun and excitement and the occasion was wrapped up at around 1 in the morning.
Day 3 arrived. It was the final piece of the 9th PYAPI Provincial Summer Youth Camp. The campers woke up a little bit late because of the extended fun they experienced during the Cultural Night. Nevertheless, they got up from their improvised bed and prepared for the final activities of the encampment. The Final Round of Basketball and Volleyball game was done. As expected, District 1 won in the Basketball event for 3 consecutive years now. Monchi Rhalf Sotelo, Arman Ricafort and Ernesto Pascual Jr also played in the final game. Moreover, in the Volleybal Final Round, District 1 also bagged the 1st prize. And lastly but not the least, Glen Antonio won in the Palo Sebo competition. After the wrapping up of all the games, the awarding ceremony immediately followed. Miss Helen Donato, the Acting Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer awarded and congratulated all the winners and participants of the 2014 PYAPI Provincial Summer Youth Camp for a very successful presentation and she announced to see everyone again in the Municipality of Claveria next year.
Ultimately, the 9th PYAPI Provincial Summer Youth Camp could not have been complete without the touring of the delegates by the Local Government Unit of Sta. Teresita to their Baggalau Cave and Lake.
by Patrick Ian L. David