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IN PHOTOS: Cooking up strength for Palarong Pambansa 2017

This is the story of the dedication behind each bite for the athletes of Region IX

CARE IN EVERY SERVING. Cheryl Balanay scoops a generous amount of rice into the styrofoam containers, making sure it fills up the athletes for their big games. All photos by Rey Anthony Villaverde/Rappler

ANTIQUE, Philippines – Athletes require a lot of things.

They have to be given constant support and motivation from their peers and family. They need constant training and a coach who knows how to push them to the limits and help them improve their performance.

Finally, you need good food with the right nutrients to give your body enough energy to keep your physique in top shape.

Kitchen staff are underrated, but they sure make a difference in the overall health of an athlete. In the University of Antique, we take a look at the makeshift kitchen and see the passionate people who shop, cook, and give out food to the delegates, coaches, and personnels of Region IX.

These volunteers, mostly teachers from Zamboanga Peninsula, do their task with their heart and mind poured out into each dish, making sure that it vitalizes anyone who takes a bite out of it.

EFFORT CONTRIBUTIONS. Michael Jingoyon of Dipolog volunteer to cook the vegetables for the athletes.

SLICE TRHOUGH IT. Narcissa Rubia, from Region IX blissfully slice a fish for the meals to be given to the athletes to prepare them for their games.

FRIENDSHIP BEYOND REGIONS. Joenard Tamayo, a chieftain from Antique, cooks happily alongside Teresita Batalan. Tamayo smiles as he tells what his motivations were: "To serve…to meet new friends."

SLICES OF ENERGY. Chunks of locally grown vegetables are tossed into a wok to make up a delicious, stir-fried dish suited for competing athletes.

FULL-OUT STRENGTH. Two men assigned in the kitchen volunteer to haul a sack of rice with solid strength and full support to the delegates from Region IX.

WORKING AS A ONE. Kitchen servers of Region IX distribute foods to their athletes to energize them to be ready for their events.


Rey Anthony Villaverde is a 12-year-old Palaro Mover from Region IX.

READ: Palarong Pambansa 2017 stories by campus journalists