UPLB staff and students look forward to the yearly Palarong UPLB, not only because it provides relief from the humdrum of life in academe, but also because a new flavor is added to it each year, courtesy of the sponsoring college.
In one year, a Defense of the Ancient (DOTA) game, a computer-assisted online game, was added to the regular lineup of games to entice players who are online gamers. This was when the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology was its host. In another year, the College of Arts and Sciences featured their own version of the Amazing Race, requiring participants to run a course, jump from the swimming pool high board, and take a jeepney route.
When it was the turn of the College of Agriculture and Food Science to host the Palaro, the College introduced an “agri-game” in which players were required to lift sacks, go through an obstacle course, perform farming activities, and pass the mini-rodeo challenge, while the College of Development Communication introduced parlor games similar to that in a game show.
In this year’s Palaro last March, the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) customized its own Amazing Race course with a challenge of cooking an egg by fire from wood or sticks without using matches.
But this is just part of the fun because there are a lot more games that are featured each year, such as basketball, volleyball, swimming, team-building events such as plank walk, tug of war, sack race, as well as board games like chess and scrabble. There is also a cheer-dance competition and a Ms. Palaro competition.
Palarong UPLB has been around for more than ten years now. It started with the students’ being integrated into the teams where their college belongs, but now, the students compete in their own category with their co-students from other colleges.
Palarong UPLB builds camaraderie and friendship, as well as helps the staff and students cope with stress, while encouraging a holistic lifestyle of winning and losing in which no one is loses.
Teams are assigned per college, but some smaller colleges are merged with the others. The administrative and executive offices also compose another team. UPLB Varsity team members, with their strong sports background, are allowed to participate for as long as they play for their respective colleges. (Kristine E. Araguas, UP Los Baños)