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Davao City, Philippines

Davao Skate Park transforms lives

August 15, 2019 - Thursday 1:08 PM by Romeo Braceros

Article Banner Image SKATER. From being a bugoy who skated on the streets, Raven Restauro now earns money as as one of the staff members of the Davao Skate Park under the flyover in Agdao, Davao City. ROMEO BRACEROS

DAVAO CITY -- The annual Kadayawan celebration is all about the bountiful harvest Davao City and its people have received all year. But aside from harvest, Kadayawan is also a time of thanksgiving for lives that have been transformed for the better.

One of the worthwhile projects the city government has embarked on is the construction of the Davao Skate Park in Barangay Agdao, Davao City.

Located under the Agdao flyover, the skate park was opened last May 31 and has proven to be a magnet for young people.

According to Miko Lenares Canencia, an officer of the Davao Skate Council, said some of the boys in Agdao who were previously known for causing trouble and getting into fights are now consistent visitors of the skatepark.

In a recent interview, Canencia said they are happy to see that the youth of Agdao have shown interest in skateboarding. He said some of them were even toughies.

"Kasagaran sa mga bugoy nagatambay diri sa skate park dati pero karon naga skate na sila," Canencia said.

(Most of them used to be idle but now they have become skaters.)

A haven for skaters

Aside from the bugoys in Agdao, the skate park has also reformed many other bugoys in other parts of the city. One of whom is Raven Restauro, a 24-year-old skater from Bangkal.

Restauro told the Mirror that way back in 2009 he and some of his friends started staking in the city's streets.

He said during that time they would have escaped from their class just to do skating. He added that they also engaged in street fights in Bangkal and Matina areas because some people tend to fight them because of the way they dressed and acted as skaters.

"Katong naga start pami ug skating naga apil sad mi sa riot kay naa man uban tawo dili makasabot sa amo nga skaters mao mag-away mi," Restauro said.

(When were just beginning to skate we also got involved in riots because there were some people who couldn’t understand us so we would get into fights.)

Restauro said before the construction of the skate park, life was really hard for skaters since they did not have a regular place to skate. They would do it right on the streets and in some vacant spaces like in Matina Town Square (MTS).

Wala dyud mi mdulaan ug skate dati gina sita pa gani mi sa mga guard sa MTS,” he said.

(We couldn’t skate anywhere because the guards at MTS would shoo us away.)

"Pasalamat dyud mi kay naa nay skake park kay naa na dyud maadtoan mga skaters ug dili na dilikado kay dili naman mi sa dalan mag skate," he added.

(We are thankful that there is this skate park because now we have a place to go. And this is a lot safer because we don’t need to skate on the street.)

Restauro is even more grateful because the city provided him a job as one of the staff members of the skate park with a modest salary.

He said as a staff member, he regularly encounters skaters who used to live a harsh life on the streets before getting the chance to play the sport.

"Daghan dyud dati mga bugoy nga nagbag-o ang kinabuhi tungod sa skate park," he said.

(There are many toughies whose lives have been changed by the skate park.)

He said the establishment of the skate park has long been a dream of the skaters in the city, and it only got a much needed boost when Cebuano skating star Margilyn Didal won a gold medal in the recent Asian Games.

Great joy for young skaters

Restauro said the establishment of the skate park brings great joy to young kids who want to learn the sport.

He said instead of learning skating on the street which is risky, they can now do it inside the skate park where they are safe.

Dako dyud tabang sa mga bata ang skate park kay karon mas dali ug dili na dilikado magtuon ug skating,” Restauro said.

(This is really a big help to the children because now they can learn without endangering their lives.)

The construction of the skate park in Davao City has also led to the increase in the locals’ interest in the sport. Every weekday around 20 to 30 people skate in the part, while weekends are full at 110 skaters.

The skate park is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.