IN PHOTOS: UP Fighting Maroons team up with Lumad in #Manilakbayan game

Fighting Maroon Jett Manuel says being an athlete of the state university ‘is about helping other people beyond UP’

Jansen Romero and Joshua Ramos

FIGHTING MAROONS. Members of UP Fighting Maroons show young Lumad basketball drills at the University of the Philippines Diliman on Monday night, October 26. All photos by Jansen Romero

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons took a break from practice Monday night, October 26, to demonstrate basketball drills to Lumad children who joined the indigenous peoples’ caravan Manilakbayan.

Students, teachers, and workers at the UP Diliman welcomed about 700 Lumad in front of the Oblation Monday. The indigenous peoples of Mindanao and their supporters arrived in Manila on Sunday, October 25, nearly a week after their long journey that seeks to highlight their call to stop human rights violations in their communities. (READ: TIMELINE: Attacks on the Lumad of Mindanao)

Through the basketball exhibition game with the Lumad at the College of Human Kinetics gym, the Fighting Maroons said they did not only play a game but also showed that they took up the responsibility of “fighting for something more.”

STOP LUMAD KILLINGS. UP Fighting Maroons show their support for the Lumad in Mindanao

Fighting Maroons team captain JR Gallarza felt fulfilled being around Lumad children, playing basketball with them:

“My course is teaching…I generally love kids, and to put a smile on their faces… I like to think that they’re all having fun right now, forgetting all about what’s happening in their province, giving them a night of just fun.”

For Fighting Maroon Jett Manuel, being an athlete of the state university “is about helping other people beyond UP.” It means more than just “playing basketball for our school,” he stressed.

Manuel earlier showed his support for the Lumad after leading the Maroons to their second consecutive victory in the UAAP season 78 basketball series.

In a photo posted by the UP student publication Philippine Collegian on its Facebook page shortly after the game on September 9, Manuel is seen holding a paper with the hashtag #StopLumadKillings. His right fist is also clenched, an iconic gesture of UP activism that serves as the central image on the Fighting Maroons’ new logo.

The #StopLumadKillings campaign captured the national attention after a paramilitary group, on September 1, murdered a school director and two Lumad leaders in Surigao del Sur.

See the images from Monday night’s basketball workshop for Lumad children:


Joshua Ramos is a Rappler intern. He graduated from the College of Arts and Letters in UP Diliman.