Limpag: Is it time to move the Palaro again?

CEBU City hosted the Palarong Pambansa only once, back in 1994, but its hosting was one that changed how the Department of Education conducted the games.

It’s usually held in February or March, the final months of the school year, but Councilor Joy Young suggested to host it in April, after the end of classes. That simple move meant student athletes who’d usually miss a lot of classes in that crucial final stretch of the school year didn’t have to.

I remember back in 1996, two years after Cebu’s hosting, while the rest of the batch were in full college mode two weeks after high school graduation, a teammate who made the Palaro team was still in “high school” mode. We kind of laughed at his misery and wondered why the Palaro was taking too long.

But it is actually a smart move, and it has been a practice to hold the Palaro every April since Cebu ‘94 showed the wisdom of the move. Moving it in April has made it a truly sports tourism affair, allowing parents who otherwise would have other school-related activities to attend to to accompany their sons and daughters. In a way, that may have perhaps led to the increase of the number of hangers-on in the official DepEd delegation but that’s a problem that has been addressed.

However, changes in the school calendar may mean DepEd should consider moving the Palarong Pambansa again. Starting this school year, most of the private schools will have an August to May school calendar, while public schools I think, will end classes in April.

So it’s back to the pre-Cebu ‘94 days of the Palaro, when it was held at the end of the school calendar.

Aside from that, I hope, too, DepEd can institute a change in the vetting process of the athletes; in every rung of the step-ladder tournament, athletes have to submit their credentials and all, to prove their age and qualification.

It’s to discourage cheats, I know, but perhaps DepEd can find a way where verification at the first stage is enough for every rung? Besides, you can’t compete at the next level if you didn’t join the previous level. You can’t compete in the Palaro if you didn’t compete in the regional meet; you can’t compete in the regional meet if you didn’t join the provincial or city meet.

Sort of streamlining and putting trust in the process.

BIRTHDAY. A smart boy who will soon give his brother a run for his money and looks turned a year older yesterday. Enjoy your day, Bien Concha, you will soon be a famous guy yourself.
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