“I think what I represent is achieving what you want in life. It’s a matter of your attitude. Some people have a negative attitude, and that’s their disability,” said Marla Runyan, a world-class runner who is legally blind.

The Para Games 2017, touted to be first of its kind in the city, was the highlight during the observance of the 39th National Disability and Prevention Week held last July 17-23.

“This is actually the first one we started,” said Teddy Kahil, Social Welfare Officer II and President of the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA)- Zamboanga City Chapter. “We want to really strengthen the sports activities and…enhance the skills of the persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the city,” he added.

According to Kahil, they have been participating in the Philippine National games. “This is the right time for us to do some assessment, evaluation, and screening of potential athletes that we could probably get and be involved in the Para Games (National) that will be happening some time in December,” he expressed.

Meanwhile, one of the participants with hearing impairment, Nurhanna Palahuddin shared that she was very honored and happy to participate for the first time in a sports event dedicated to them. Palahuddin, who competed in the Table Tennis placed second.  After winning, she said, “In life, I have always believed in myself and I follow my heart all the time.”

Aside from Table Tennis, other games were also held like Goalball, Chess, Domino, Bocce, and Dart which were participated by persons with visual impairment, hearing impairment, ortho problem, and with intellectual disability among others.

Rowena M. Eustaquio, Regional PWD focal person of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) FO IX is looking forward to augment the number of games in the celebration next year. “We will be adding more sports categories in 2018. Basketball on wheels will be definitely one of those, and we will really look for ways and means so we can make it happen,” she said.

As per Proclamation No. 361 signed by former President Joseph E. Estrada, the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDA), an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development IX is conducting a series of activities every year to stimulate public awareness on the problems of disability, and encourage every citizen to take active responsibility in the uplifting of the economic and social conditions of the PWDs: thereby encouraging them to take pro-active roles in nation-building as stipulated in the Proclamation. The RCDA-IX prepared a series of events to highlight the celebration with the support of the different stakeholders. This year’s NDPR week carries the theme, “Karapatan at Pribilehiyo ng Maykapansanan: Isakatuparan at Ipaglaban!”

The following are the winners for the different sports categories:



1st: Joey Bolandrisna

2nd: Peter John Samson


Hearing Impairment

1st: Jayme Jean Cabayacruz

2nd: Nurhanna Palahuddin


Goal Ball

Champion: Vista Spa

1st Runner-up: AVRC- Team

2nd Runner-up: ZCDA

3rd Runner-up: AVRC- Team




1st: Joey Balandrina

2nd: Corazon Medina

3rd: Mirriam Ismael




1st: Jojo Navarro

2nd: Jan-jan Dalus

3rd: Alsadri Sali


Hearing Impairment

1st: Lea May Rojas

2nd: Reginald Espinosa

3rd: Ernie Aranduque



Visual Impairment

1st: Jose Antonio Maraguinot

2nd: Layzner Reputasa




1st: Enrico Cuadra

2nd: Marcir Solis

3rd: Angelita Calusod



1st: Alwida Asahil

2nd: Paola Camille Tee

3rd: Kayrie Anne Del Rosario