Liga Eskwela gives hope to Marawi kids

November 2, 2019


CAGAYAN DE ORO City — Marawi Physical Education for School Sports (PESS) supervisor Hedjarah Taratingan’s family was among the victims in the Marawi City siege in 2017.

She lost her house in ground zero and most of their belongings were destroyed during the fighting between the government forces and the terrorists.

Now her family has been relocated and slowly rebuilding their lives. She was a witness to the sufferings of the people of Marawi, specially the children.

The five months of continuous fighting which started in May 2017 and ended in October the same year, was traumatic not only Taratingan’s family but also to the children of Marawi. 

“Seeing so much violence in real life is devastating to children,’’ said Taratingan.

And she added that one way to lessen the trauma to these children is to engage the children into sports. 

So the Department of Education Marawi Division office led by Schools Division Superintendent OIC Pharida L. Sansarona and Hedjarah Taratingan’s did not waste time to help lessen the trauma to the children by asking the Thomas V. Moran Foundation to extend its Futsal Liga Eskwela program to their devastated city.

As the PESS chief of the City, Taratingan is responsible for supervising the sports activities of the DepEd in Marawi. Definitely because of her job she loves sports and futsal and football have a special place in her heart.

“Futsal is a good sport. It is a combination of many sport using the feet. Basketball because it is played in a basketball court and football because only the feet are used,’ she said.

Now enter the Thomas V. Moran Foundation of former Philippine men’s national team member Danny Moran and Gawad Kalinga. 

According to Danny Moran, who is the CEO of the Moran Foundation they introduced the Liga Eskwela Futsal program to 11 public schools in Metro Manila in 2015.

By 2016 the Liga Eskwela expanded to 65 public schools and by 2017 the Department of Education took notice of the project and gave its blessing and encouraged all public schools in the NCR which resulted into a massive success as 300 public schools joined.

He added that this year, DepEd invited them to present their Liga Eskwela Futsal Program to all other DepEd regional Sports heads in a conference held in Palawan. 

Among those who wanted to join was Marawi through BARMM Minister of Education Director Taya. 

“We readily accepted them in this next “National Level” of Liga Eskwela Futsal,’’ Moran added.

Marawi City Physical Education for School Sports (PESS) supervisor Hedjarah Taratingan has been tasked by her superior, Department of Education Marawi Division Schools Superintendent OIC Pharida L. Sansaronato to kick off the Liga Eskwela in Marawi.

Taratingan immediately with the help of Gawad Kalinga ’s Jun Degayo, opened the gates of Marawi for Liga Eskwela by organising the first Phase of the project which is the training the teachers last Oct. 18-19 at the Amai Pakpak Elementary School covered court.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) B licensed coach Percy Guarin led a bunch of coaches from Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Marawi to show the more than 50 teachers from different schools in of the city how to play Futsal for two days.

Guarin, a former national team player, taught the teachers how to teach young players ball control, passing, kicking, laws of the game and most specially how to organise training using only one or two footballs.

After the training, the teachers were given one Sunsports Futsal balls each courtesy of Toby’s Sports. 

The second phase of the program is the start of the teachers to organise their respective teams in preparation for the Liga Eskwela while the third phase is the Liga Eskwela proper which set sometime in January next year.

As an incentive, Kawad Kalinga’s BARMM community organiser Jun Degayo announced that champion teams might compete in the SM Futsal tournament in Cagayan de Oro set in April next year.

Most teachers were excited and their tired eyes became round when they heard of their chance of coming to see SM City in Cagayan de Oro.

So much work yet has to be done before the kick off of Liga Eskwela in January. Gawad Kalinga has been tasked to follow-up the teachers and the kids.

Despite of the amount of work to be done, Liga Eskwela has indeed given hopes to the children of Marawi. (



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