This year's Region 8 State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) will explore the depths of strength and camaraderie that sports gives to society, as harnessed by the theme Hinabing Kusog, which encapsulates the very essence of the event. As we garner hundreds of delegates from different participating SUCs in the region, we expound as to how this theme came to life in representing this year's meet, and how it became the symbol of the collective strength emulated by Eastern Visayas sporting excellence. 

From Northern Samar to Southern Leyte and to the island province of Biliran, the tradition of weaving is alive and has lived for centuries. The banig from Basey, Samar is graced with its distinct leaf embroidery technique and patterns; woven mats from Plaridel, Baybay City, with its distinct festival honoring the banig; woven from the Cuatro Islas of Hindang and Plaridel; and woven templates from Southern Leyte and Panaon Island became the inspiration for this SCUAA’s theme and logo.

Hinabing Kusog is inspired by the world-famous banig of Samar and Leyte. It is a combination of Filipino, Bisaya, and Waray lexicons: Habi/Hinabi, which means weaving or woven, and Kusog, which means strength or power. Hinabing Kusog translates to Weaving Strengths; it integrates the rich culture of Samar and Leyte to unify the strengths of two different fields of culture and arts, and sports to share one common ground—the strengths that weave them together.

A theme that is rich in culture and tradition harmonizes each and every one of us, reminding us that together we link each other’s gaps and differences. Mr. Christian Bacolod, who is a faculty member of the Institute of Human Kinetics teaching Culture and Arts courses, is the creative mind behind this theme and concept. He specializes in Philippine traditional and contemporary arts with a distinct focus on Visayan textile weaving traditions and has presented his works in Australia, London, and Manila. He also worked directly on projects that helped local weavers and artisans in Bohol and Leyte that were funded by the British and US embassies in Manila.

The 2023 SCUAA theme, Hinabing Kusog, will effectively capture the vision that the Visayas State University has in mind: that the weaving of strength transcends beyond sports. Strength that embodies the spirit of camaraderie, sportsmanship, discipline, fairness, strength, and friendship across all competitions.

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