Valentine’s Day reminds me of Cupid as a naked (sometimes with a diaper), winged boy armed with a bow and arrow who turns anyone into “love mode” with his arrow.
It reminds me also of singer rachel Alejandro’s no.1 single “Mr.Kupido” in 1989 that contained lines asking Cupid to help her get the boy’s attention. Ah, romantic love.
And finally, it reminds me of a group of “cupids” from barangay Lasang who were training at the University of Mindanao Matina Campus.
Coach Alex Manceras of A.L.Navarro National High School was supervising their training at the time as they prepared to defend their team shooting title in the Palarong Pambansa in Tacloban City.
Archers Roberto Beltran, Arnel Buta, Kevin Caballero and Dioscoro Marqueza were diligently honing their skills in the heat of the sun and shooting their arrows when they began to discuss how to improve their shots.
Coach Alex would afterwards give them some pointers and explain why they made poor shots.
I thereupon examined closely their equipment after noticing that some of the parts of the bow were clearly not original.
The long rod, an extension of the bow which reduces vibration produced by the shot, the sight and the vanes of the arrows were handmade by coach Alex using available materials at his home.
He recalled that national Capital region archers even made fun of their (Davao archers’) poor equipment before the tournament started, only to be silenced when the Davao boys defeated them.
The Davao boys had to make their own equipment because brand new equipment cost a fortune.
Their bows were old, some even older than themselves, but they were good enough to give them the championship in the Palarong Pambansa.Coach Alex’s resourcefulness and ingenuity had inspired the “Cupids” from barangay Lasang to do their best in every competition.
If only he had the funds, he would have really loved to buy new bows and arrows for his young archers.
Archery is one sport that Dabawenyos can really excel in at the national level.
If provided with the needed equipment, I would not be surprised if they’ll make waves in the international scene if given the chance.
When Davao’s archery association head engr.Albur rojas retired from the Davao Light and Power Co. and migrated to the U.S., the Davao region lost a leader in the sport. A few of his colleagues in the Davao City sports Council have extended support to some outstanding Davao archers, but in very limited capacity owing to the high cost of equipment.
It takes a lot of love to develop fine archers and champions, but who will give them love now?
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
* * *
Happy birthday to Edith Regalado of Philippine Star, uncle Ben Babol, long-time friends Mutya Acebron and Sarah Bahinting.