Aug 23, 2014
On Saturday August 23, 2014, the staff of GAP Labs woke up at the crack of dawn to travel to the nearby island of Canigao. The occasion – Sports Fest 2014.
Packed with enough food, drink, and sporting gear to last for two full days, the GAP Labs staff took Canigao by storm. As the island came into view boating from the shores of southern Leyte, all became tantalized by the prospect of competing for eternal glory on those beautiful white sand beaches. The staff was divided into four teams, and all were hungry for victory.
The competition started shortly after noon with the opening prayer followed by the lighting of the torch by reigning MVP Jake Opeña. Then the games began. First was beach volleyball, a fearsome battle marked by bumps, sets, and spikes that sent onlookers’ heads spinning with their dazzling pinpointed accuracy. All teams were near perfectly in sync, performing with the mechanical fluidity of a high-end Ferrari.
Next came a game, most were not entirely sure what the name of it was, where opponents stood about 10 yards away from each other and threw a Frisbee towards the other team, attempting to knock down a plastic cup which was balancing on a stick. There were actually two sticks, and they were set up close to each other kind of like goal posts. Needless to say, tensions were high.
Following the day’s activities, most players took a swim in the ocean to cool off from a day of heated battle, and the sun. It was time to relax and, challenging as it was to do, place the competitive spirit on pause for the night. Food and drink was served as competitors broke down borders to interact festively with one another, remembering in the end that we are all members of the same GAP Labs team. Far into the night staff members shared stories and laughs, gradually retiring at their own leisure to sleep in tents on the beach – and dream of the glory to come by the next day’s games.
With dawn came ultimate Frisbee – arguably the most fast paced and high intensity event of the entire Sports Fest 2014. Energy and spirits were high as teammates woke up extra early to practice selections from their playbook. Some were even reported to have been seen taking early morning laps around the island before sunlight. With blinding speed and impeccable timing teams tore up and down the field warring for field position, deflecting passes, and diving full extension for highlight-reel catches. It was a spectacle of true sporting beauty if ever one was reported.
As the day moved on the competition shifted away from physical exertion and entered into the realm of high-minded strategic and artistic gamesmanship. A scavenger hunt, balloon toss, and sand castle competition filled the morning’s agenda as teams entered into a mêlée of wit, creativity, and competitive endurance. Pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into their various projects, it is a wonder that no one endured serious injury during this marathon of low-energy leisure activities. When it was over, the brilliance of the final creations would have Da Vinci rolling in his grave.
Then at long last after lunch came the final event: Tug of War. This one actually got kind of intense, and a few people got blisters, but that was probably mainly because of the rope, which hurt if you pulled it too hard. Nevertheless – a small price to pay for brute glory. The violent passion of the event made ancient gladiatorial combat seem like two toddlers throwing deflated balloons at one another shortly after soiling themselves.
With all said and done the final results were tallied, and the announcement was made: Team 3 was the victor. Despite accusations of corruption (most of which came from the team who finished in last place, Team 4, who many felt were really awesome and the best team in a lot of ways which did not equate to quantitative point totals), a recount was not initiated. All staff members congratulated the brave men and women of Team 3 who had deservedly trudged the hard path to victory. Last but not least a new MVP was named - one Ferdinand Amano, the emergent hero of GAP Labs, who coincidentally also played for Team 4.
After a long weekend marked by triumph, heartbreak, and a potentially alarming amount of sunburns, the staff of GAP Labs packed up their belongings and began the long journey home. All had competed, all had bonded, and all had a great time at the 2014 Company Outing. On the way home they stopped for Cheeseburgers at Jollibee and ate them in the vans. Most people reported sleeping for at least 14 hours afterwards.
As told by 2014 Content Intern, Dominic Fusco