LUNA, Apayao—Representative Eleanor “Cong. Leah” Bulut-Begtang donated chess sets to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) here in support for the chess program initiated by Mhage Sebastian, a consistent Philippine contingent to ASEAN Chess Championship and her father who conducted free chess tutorials for the inmates during the celebration of the National Correctional Consciousness Week on October 23-28, 2017.
Bulut-Begtang immediately responded to the request of BJMP Luna Jail Warden Rudy Pad-eng concerning their desire to have ready chess materials on the day the free chess clinic would be conducted which was held a week after she visited them.
The generosity and kindness of Bulut-Begtang for providing them quality chess sets and free lunch during the culmination day on October 28 have been cherished both by the warden and his officials along with around 67 inmates.
During the Family Week Celebration of said BJMP where Bulut-Begtang was the surprise guest speaker, Apayao Provincial Government OIC Information Officer Gerriahzon Sebastian talked with Warden Pad-eng and offered free lecture with the aide of his daughter as to provide some worthwhile activities for the inmates.
“The opportunity to offer chess lectures was perceived during our small talk with Warden who happened to be a chess player. Coming to understand the plight of the inmates, it is but a wonderful way of providing and teaching mind games to them,” Sebastian narrated.
Before the chess tutorial, the Maybuhay Assemblies of God Church of Flora, Apayao, led by Pastors Reuben Armandico and James Taggaban, organized a short service and provided intermission numbers, testimonies and preaching the word of God.
The said ministers shared their own struggles before they become full time ministers. They encouraged them not to give up for in Jesus, there is hope even if the body has been literally imprisoned.
“I also experienced being imprisoned though not literally behind bars but in working in Saudi Arabia, it seems that I am also behind bars due to the nature of our work. I understand how hard it is to be in this kind of facility but if we have faith in Jesus, we can be free in spiritual bondage,” Armandico stressed.
The young people ministry of said church provided praise and worship songs to the delight of the inmates and officers of the BJMP. Before the Christian service ended, the said church prayed over Warden Pad-eng asking God for a more effective leadership within the facility.
Pad-eng and the inmates expressed their appreciation for the time spent by the ministers and members of Maybuhay AG. They also thanked the father and daughter duo for sparing some time in teaching the basic moves of chess for the inmates for pastime as more often than not they don’t do anything inside their cells.
In acknowledging the effort of the young Sebastian, the chess wizard of Flora, Apayao, who will again compete in the 18th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship in Pahang, Malaysia this November 24-December 5, two inmates presented parol and flower as their gift to her.
The warden and some selected chess players of the BJMP look forward to the day when they can play with the young lass to test her prowess in this mind game. The father agreed to visit again and assures them that his daughter will challenge the BJMP players for simultaneous exhibition. BY JAY S.