February is our nation’s Down Syndrome Consciousness month and in light of that, the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI) held their 13th Tee-up for Down Golf Cup on February 5 in the beautiful greens of Tagaytay Midlands.
The DSAPI is a non-stock, non-profit organization that was founded by committed parents and concerned physicians. Because they know of the negative effects of having a child with Down Syndrome can sometimes cause, their greatest goal is to bring support to the families and to cultivate an atmosphere of positivity and love which is best for children in this condition.
Every year the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines puts on a golf tournament with 3 goals in mind.
- To help provide support for families with children that are affected by Down Syndrome and are associated with the DSAPI.
- To provide awareness that Down Syndrome is a lifelong disability that typically bear disappointment, but can be replaced with positive attitudes of warmth, love, understanding and hope.
- To provide an event to build camaraderie and thank their members, partners, brand ambassadors, and sponsors for their continuous support.
This year was no exception, they did an excellent job of bringing that atmosphere of positivity in and out of the course. It turned out to be a great success as nearly 140 players gathered together to play, including 2 of our very own from GolfPH.
Our guys arrived early and ready to start the day at 7am and were happily welcomed by the accommodating DSAPI team at the 3 registration tables. Upon registering, we received generous giveaway items that they put together for all players.
After signing in, they wasted no time and headed straight for the locker room to change and prep up for the tournament.
As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Our guys grabbed a bite to eat and fuelled up on energy before they hit the sizeable course.
One anticipated part of a tournament is the venue. DSAPI couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful place than Tagaytay Midlands for the players to enjoy the scenery as they play their rounds.
Their course consists of 18 golf holes, all-weather fairways, and abundant greenery of 37,000 trees and over 2 million plants of different varieties! It was the perfect place to be challenged by their holes and have good fun.
After breakfast, our guys even still had time to practice putting before the start. It’s never a bad idea to arrive a bit early to have time to comfortably prepare.
Everyone made their way to the starting hole where the shotgun went off at 8:30am on the dot.
To keep the spirit of fun alive, there were 3 fun holes the players competed for: the longest drive, the closest to the pin, and the most accurate. But the most coveted award was the hole in one. Why? The prize was a brand new Vespa!
Playing became even more motivating knowing that the first tee house had a complimentary snack of banana or bread, and the second tee house served a tasty bowl of arroz caldo, the perfect mid-game snack.
After the challenging game under the sun, the program went straight to another exciting part- the awards ceremony! The participants sat back and relaxed as they listened to the welcome remarks given by Luis Harder, chairman of the Golf Committee and Executive Vice President of DSAPI. He is also an avid golfer and member of GolfPH.
One part of the event all look forward to is always chow time! Everyone had spent their energy on the course and were more than ready to refuel. They were served a buffet dinner with more than enough lechon to feed the whole crowd. For most filipinos, any buffet that serves lechon keeps them coming back for more.
While eating great food and enjoying good company, an impressive speech was given by Elmer Lapena, President of DSAPI.
One highlight of every tournament- the raffle! Who wouldn’t enjoy receiving free prizes? The players excitedly waited upon their numbers to be called out for the minor prizes and especially the major ones.
All the lucky winners were also awarded at this time.
The DSAPI team even had 2 noteworthy individuals participate and play in this tournament.
First is Vince Hizon, former PBA player and now golf aficionado, who successfully defended his trophy getting the overall Low Net championship once again this year!
Second is Jeremy Lapena, who himself has Down Syndrome. Jeremy is a 19 year old golf enthusiast who proves game in and game out, that those who live their lives with Down Syndrome are still capable of living life normally.
With the help and support of DSAPI, he and his family have been able to not only cope, but even enjoy by playing the skilful sport of golf.
Overall, the 13th Tee-up for Down Golf Cup was a huge success in what the organizers aimed to do- bring awareness to those who don’t know much about Down Syndrome, raise a helpful amount to bring support to families of DSAPI, and make this event an enjoyable and unforgettable experience for all players. They didn’t only meet their goals this year, but far exceeded them.
Thank you to the sponsors who helped to make this event possible.
Canon, Whealth Inc., First Lucky Holdings, Yellow Cab, McDonalds
Belle Corporation, Wings Technology, Taiwanese Chamber of the South, Ikkey Cruz