FILIPINO athletes showcased more than just their athletic prowess during the 6th Children of Asia International Sports Games in Yakutsk, Russia as they impressed delegation with a presentation of different Philippine folkdances in a cultural show during the pre-opening ceremonies.
The Philippine athletes, with the boys clad in kamisa chino and the girls in kimona and patadyong, performed the Itik-Itik, Maglalatik, and Subli during then highlighting Filipino culture and heritage.
Philippine Sports Commission’s Annie Ruiz, who was in Yakutsk, Russia as part of the delegation to the meet, bared the athletes prepared for the cultural presentation for three weeks behind dance practices under the supervision of PSC staff Aizzabelle Rose Reynales-Terrado, who finished with a dance major at the Philippine High School for the Arts.
“Ipinagmamalaki natin ang ginawa ng ating mga atleta na puspusan ang effort na mag-practice sa Pilipinas,” said Ruiz in an interview over DZSR Sports Radio.
The dance performance drew praises from the spectators and fellow athletes during the pre-opening ceremonies, and were even asked to perform the dances two more times, including one in a television network based in Yakutsk, Russia.
The athletes were also interviewed by local newspapers and magazine.
“Nagpahanga sila sa buong mundo. Sasabihin kong buong mundo sapagkat may halos 40 na bansa ang sumali sa Children of Asia at lahat sila ay humanga sa talento ng mga Pilipino,” she said.
“Nakita ko doon na hinangaan ang galing ng mga Pilipino dancers,” added Ruiz, who shared that athletes from other nations also asked to have their photos taken with their Filipino counterparts.
Because of the impressive show, PSC commissioner Celia Kiram said the Filipino athletes were also invited to have an audience with the president of Sakha Republic, whose capital city is Yakutsk.
“Napakaganda talaga. Hindi ko ine-expect na ‘yung president ng Sakha Republic, may appointment kami ng Saturday. They invited us,” Kiram said.
The PSC lady commissioner said the attention the Filipino athletes drew is a perfect way to showcase our culture abroad, making the young athletes as good ambassadors of the country.
“‘Yung pagkakilala sa atin ay malaking karangalan para sa bansa natin. Hindi negatibo ang dating kundi ng bansang Pilipinas kundi positibo. Napakagandang opportunity na mapakita ang culture natin,” said Kiram.