“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

the lion king was the first movie that my then baby, megan ever watched.  i’m not certain if she ever recalls that experience.  but that movie changed how we perceive these creatures from then on. from fierce and savage beasts, to sweet and loving living beings.

thus i pay tribute to the Lions of Al Andalus International School in Al Khobar, who for the second year in a row brought pride and honor to the institution with which they belong.  the Philippine Embassy at the Diplomatic Quarters in Riyadh was transformed into a jungle (pun intended) when the cheerdancers roared their way to the first place, beating the two other groups who had the hometown advantage.  the teamwork, grace and intensity of their performance left the spectators in awe, as the Lions raised the standard for the succeeding teams, who obviously were not able to meet.

as in every competition, some other factors led the champions to victory and made them stand out above the rest.  let us acknowledge the Rafikis, coach/trainor/choreographer who taught these lions the moves and the grooves. 

then there are the  Mufasas and the Sarabis, the ever supportive parents, who despite their hectic schedules and the stress that a lengthy travel from Khobar to Riyadh entails, still manage to be the source of strength and courage of their children. 

but above all, thanks to the LORD for having gifted the Simbas and Nalas with intense passion and superb talents.  yet, intense passion alone cannot sustain the fight.  so does superb talents on their own.  but with these two gifts together, where can they go wrong?  hakuna matata

our son Miguel did not take part as cheerdancer, but was with them all along to  capture their moments in photographs. but as we all go back to “Pride Rock” in khobar, i pray that these young lions, including our own simba, continue to carry in their hearts the inspiration of that twice-in-a-lifetime experience. 

they brought home the bacon indeed, but with it are the most flavorful lessons on friendships, family (as an ever dependable support group), hard work, unity, honor, sportsmanship… and God who made it all possible…

Unto Him we give back the glory.

(photos courtesy of 4Ds – daisy, diane, duchess and derick )

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