Pacquiao or James Yap to grace WVRAA opening

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Friday, January 20, 2012

EITHER pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao or Escalante native PBA superstar James Yap is expected to be the special guest during the opening of the 2012 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) meet which will run from March 12 to 26 at the Panaad Park and Sports Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.

Host Negros Occidental issued the statement yesterday after the regional sports heads meeting at the Governor’s Hall of the Provincial Capitol.

Regional sports heads from Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and host Negros Occidental attended the meeting presided by Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Director Mildred Garay and Regional Task Force in School Sports head Juliet P. Braga.


The confirmation of Pacquiao’s attendance will be known this week, through Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia who is a close friend of the fighting lawmaker from Saranggani.

Another group is trying to confirm Yap’s attendance.

Romeo Sison, Department of Education (DepEd) Provincial Sports head, said the priority is Pacquiao, but if he is unavailable owing to the on-going negotiations for his opponent in his next boxing fight, organizers said that they will try Yap, who plays for B-Meg team in the PBA.

However, if both of them are available, the opening ceremony on March 12 is destined to be the most glamorous opening day for WVRAA.

Braga said they are implementing stricter rules and guidelines to discipline the different athletes. Their respective coaches will monitor them and the coaches will be the ones to be summoned if their athlete wards go astray.

She also urged them to be happy, faithful and, most importantly, to be honest in making their reports to avoid unpleasant incidents which occurred in the past.

Three famous festival events in Negros Occidental will showcase their numbers during “showtime” of the opening ceremony. These are San Carlos City’s Pintaflores, Kabankalan’s Sinulog and La Castellana’s Bailes de Luces.

Seventeen sports disciplines will be contested in the five-day sports competition. Sepak takraw, taekwondo and tennis, which were scrapped in last year’s edition of the WVRAA, will be included this year.

The sports disciplines are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, sepak takraw, sipa, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis and volleyball.

Different billeting centers and playing venues have been furnished to different regional sports heads attending the meeting.

Arrival of delegations and ocular inspection of athletes and coaches will start March 7 until the afternoon of March11, 2012.

About 2,000 athletes from the six provinces of Western Visayas are expected to compete in this regional tourney. Winners will earn the right to represent the region in the forthcoming 2012 Palarong Pambansa in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 20, 2012.


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