By: LJ Zaphan Lamboloto
Column Name: In Search for Truth
It’s the first day of Intramurals, Students from different colleges proudly wear their jerseys with hopes to win the games with unmatched competence and prowess against their counterparts. Every stroke against the incoming ball, every dive into pool, and every shot into the hoop is a battle-cry towards a collective victory.
The spirit of competition and the deafening cheer of the crowds for their own college teams give rise to the persistent fighting spirit of the competitors. Out of 15 colleges, only one will reach the very top and bring home the trophy of the over-all championship, but regardless of that fact, we still compete with all of our strengths and at the top of our lungs, incessantly roar out the names of our own colleges.
We hope to hold the honor with our very own hands and exalt ourselves with our heads up in pride that we are the year’s champions!
But what if we lost? What if we failed to reach the peak of our expectations? Do we lose faith and strength? Do we turn our backs and dolefully recognize our defeat? The answer is NO!
The word intramural came from the Latin word “Intramuros” which means “within the walls.” If we can still recall the lessons in Philippine History, the original city of Manila and the seat of the government during the Spanish Era is Intramuros or the Walled City. In theory, walled cities are much more difficult to conquer because it is fortified by thick walls of solid adobe bricks and protected by ever vigilant guards. And so the fall of these cities is not solely caused by exterior forces but by divisions and clashes among the forces inside it.
On his book, the Three Musketeers, Alexander Dumas said, “All for one and one for all, united we stand, divided we fall.”
The implication of the clash within the walls is an outright probable division among the people inside it, thus the fall within is inevitable and imminent. But the ultimate end of a good sport is not the sole pursuit of glory and honor on the side of the contender, but the acquisition of the highest stage of it, which is having fun. It’s not about getting above the others and feeling good about yourself; it is the attainment of the stage where we have reached excellence both in sports and in life.
Fun starts when an individual gets to control the ball with such dexterity amid exhaustion and fatigue. But to some, fun might be a very superficial end when it comes to competitions because it doesn’t reflect the face of a persistent competitor. We tend to correlate the face of a fierce, invincible, and unbeatable athlete like Ronda Rousey being the epitome of a good sport, but a good sport has nothing to do with that; rather it is about being a person of a sound and a mighty resolve, by humility, and by using one’s intelligence for the improvement of the self. It’s about taking control of our very own minds and will.
The Greek Philosopher –Plato warned us that the true goodness and value of sport goes beyond the boundaries of time and space; it taps into the world of ideas and thoughts that could change the outlook of the human mind.
Intramural Games is a way to forge the bonds between colleges through competition and genuine camaraderie, not to start a division between rivaling best college teams or players. It is about taking control of one’s will. It is about winning the duel within our minds and reaching the ultimate end of our collective struggle, the truth. The truth that we are all champions at the end of every clash because despite of the revolving cycle of defeats and victories, we had fun.