THE one-month Senate Mini-Olympics culminated on Thursday with the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) as the unofficial overall champion after so many years of shying away from the most-coveted award. The second place would most likely go to the Legislation team.
This year’s Olympics may not be the most exciting, but personally it was a revelation of sorts, particularly of the fact that there are so many talents in the Senate even if most of them are already in their prime.
I particularly cheered for some with really great playing prowess and the reason why I go watch their games—Richard Dino and Diaz of the Admin Team, Basaysay and Cababan of the OSAA Team, and even the Flying Eagle Senator Allan Peter Cayetano of the Senate Proper Team.
Some players are so “hated” on court probably because of their threat to the opposing team, but their FB walls reveal another story. As I watched the basketball finals between OSAA and the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) Team, I went along with my OSAA friends in sneering and jeering at Samuel Marata of the OSEC Team, even as it was my first time to hear about him and to see him play.
I first saw Marata on the first day of the Olympics doing some shots and saw how good he was. As we were seated on the bleachers before the play for first, my OSAA friends told me to watch out for Marata. “He is our only enemy in the team,” says my friend Jeanette.
So heckle we did, but Marata only smiled all the while as he was strutting his stuff, and went on to grab the championship trophy for his team. Upon checking his FB photos, I saw the guy as a family man happily posing with his wife and two attractive teenage boys.
Searching the net further, I learned he is the father of Dela Salle University Green Archer shooting guard Samuel Joseph Marata. And as I now write, I just learned that Samuel Marata Sr. is the Tata Marata of the Philippine Basketball Association.
Our work in the Senate has kept us confined to our own little turfs for most of the year.
Indeed, the Olympics makes us realize that there are people in our midst who can inspire us to do better, even to achieve our full potential.