PHILIPPINE Ultimate is front and center as the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) hosted the inaugural Mekeni Ultimate Cup (MUC) in Clark, Pampanga in a bid to bring the fast-growing sport to Central Luzon.
Held at the sprawling and historic Clark Parade Grounds, the Ultimate Liga Pilipinas Inc. (ULPI) made history of their own when they assembled 10 teams for the two-day tournament as part of the annual Clark Festival last December 3 and 4.
The brainchild of ULPI founder Peng Manlapaz, the MUC saw the return of flying disc or frisbee competition to Clark, a first since the 2010 Spirits. Manlapaz said he intends to place the Central and Northern Luzon on the Ultimate map, and hosting tournaments such as the MUC is part of his strategy.
“The Clark Parade Grounds can hold up to 24 regulation-sized Ultimate fields, the largest Ultimate venue in the country by far. The CPG is surrounded by hundreds of villas and has a nearby airport which is perfect for hosting teams of athletes,” Manlapaz told SPIN.ph.
“The Mekeni Cup is envisioned to be the centerpiece tournament that will be held in Clark that will attract teams not just from the Philippines but different parts of the Ultimate World,” he added.
Among the teams that took to the field in the rehabilitated and picturesque parade grounds were the Tandang Sora Pleasure, Sunken Pleasure Halo-Halo, Indio Bravo, Frisbrown, Breezy, Bonakids, Stillwolves, DC and Pampanga's home teams Walkers and Pamp'ed Up Chicks and Chongs.
Day 1 was characterized by a relaxed and party-like atmosphere and the camaraderie amongst the community was enjoyed to the full and punctuated by a number of highlights during the games.
With the quarterfinal and semifinal matches of Day 2, the atmosphere became more intense and competitive. The finals saw Tandang Sora Pleasure beating SP Halo-Halo for the 1st Mekeni Ultimate Cup.
The tournament concluded with a post-event celebration with a buffet of sisig, a Kapampangan specialty accompanied by free bottles of cold beer and a concert by local bands that featured the Brownman Revival.