THE 2019 Edition of the Palarong Pambansa ended on a high note as this year’s prestigious sporting event came to a close early afternoon yesterday at the Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports Complex at the sprawling UP Mindanao campus at Bago Oshiro, Mintal, Davao City, a repeat after 69 long years.
Perennial champion National Capital Region (NCR) maintained its hold as the force to reckon with by winning the overall championship based on the number of gold medals hauled but not until its close aspirants to the throne, Region IV-A (Calabarzon) and Region VI (Western Visayas) posed real threats. Region 12 (Soccksargen) made a monumental jump from 7th place last year to fourth place this year.
Davao Region may not be able to reach its target place this year as part of the first five but its successful co hosting of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa with the City Government of Davao City and the Division of Davao City is more than enough to compensate because it has proven that it can host a huge event such as this with everyone especially the visitors feeling and experiencing the slogan, “Davao: Life is Here”.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, during the opening ceremonies, gratefully acknowledged the help, support, and inspiration given by a number of institutions and one very important personality, the consistent support of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who has never been absent in all of the opening ceremonies of Palarong Pambansa.
President Duterte in his keynote address announced his appreciation for the opportunity given to his home city to host Palaro for the first time and to showcase the different infrastructure and facilities that would help to enable the student-athletes to perform well.
With the theme, “Shaping the Future through Sports,” the President praised the annual sporting event as “an effective avenue to instill among the youth essential characteristics for nation-building-such as discipline, teamwork, and perseverance.”
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in a video message coursed through City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, reminded the student-athletes of the importance of discipline and sportsmanship, and expressed her gratitude to the Department for the opportunity of hosting the annual sporting event with the assurance of a safe and organized conduct of the biggest national sports program for student-athletes that was made possible by the combined hard work of the local government unit and DepEd.
For the first time in the history of Palaro, combined efforts of all DepEd leaders from central to division, sports coordinators and coaches were made possible through the staging of indigenous games dubbed as “Larong Pinoy” that was held prior to the opening program.
In another new feature of the annual games and to lend support and inspiration for the young players, the sports icons and representatives spent an entire day interacting with the student-athletes and joined the opening ceremonies such as: Richard Gialogo (arnis); Elma Muros-Posadas (athletics); Janella Mae Frayna (chess); Reyland Capella (gymnastics); Czarina Mae Arevalo (tennis); Lerma Elmira Balauitan (track and field); Rubilen Amit (billiards); Jean Pierre Sabido (taekwondo); Richard Gonzales (table tennis); Jairulla Jaitulla (swimming); Donald “Dondon” Hontiveros (basketball); Paolo Lim Tancontian (judo); Delia Acuña (softball); Arnold Sarabia (baseball); Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco (boxing); Divine Wally (wushu); Gemma Silverio (wrestling), Simeon Moralla (sepak takraw); Bernard Abellana (badminton), Ronald Pereña (pencak silat), and James Joseph Younghusband (football).
The entire Palarong Pambansa was managed by the Department of Education through DepEd Undersecretary and Palarong Pambansa Secretary-General Revsee Escobedo with the support of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez; DepEd Region XI Director Alberto Escobarte and Assistant Director Evelyn Fetalvero; Davao City Schools Division Superintendent Ma. Ines Asuncion; and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The entire Palaro is governed by its general information, technical rules, regulations, and guidelines stipulated in DepEd Memorandum No. 45 s. 2019, which can be downloaded at http://www.deped.gov.ph/2019/04/05/april-5-2019-dm-045-s-2019-2019-palarong-pambansa-general-information-technical-rules-regulations-and-guidelines-of-sports/ while medal tally and daily games results, were found in DepEd’s official Facebook page (Department of Education-Philippines).
News and feature stories on different sports events written by campus journalists were placed at http://www.deped.gov.ph/resources/downloads/palarong-pambansa-2019/.
This Corner hails all sectors and all people who made the Palarong Pambansa 2019 a world-class sporting event worthy of emulation.