Duterte lauds athletes in palaro
Sunday, April 15, 2018 By RICHIEL S. CHAVEZ NOW, THE CHASE BEGINS.Members of the Central Visayas team have fun after the opening ceremony of the Palarong Pambansa. Only half of the 600-strong Region 7 attended the ceremony to give those who have games today time to rest. SunStar photo by Alex Badayos
THE road to the 2018 Palarong Pambansa was challenging for some of the athletes who traveled hours to reach the venue in Ilocos Sur.
For Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) it took about 30 hours by sea and land. President Rodrigo Duterte lauded these athletes for exerting efforts to pursue their athletic dreams during the opening ceremony of the national sporting meet at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur yesterday.
“To the athletes who have traveled far and who have flown all the way from far regions, I already congratulate you for the fact that being here, you have already shown determination and excellence, which makes you champions already,” said Duterte.
The Cviraa team, who traveled 22 hours by sea and 10 hours by bus, had other things in mind, though.
Getting to Vigan City would not be enough as they strive to redeem themselves from a ninth place finish last year in Antique.
“The athletes who have games tomorrow (today) were in the billeting so they can rest and get ready for the games,” said Region 7’s Education Support Services Division chief Dr. Luz Jandayan in an interview with Cebu media.
“Every division was limited only to 500 athletes in the opening ceremony. We brought 250 athletes so the others who have games can rest,” said Jandayan, who added that she’s confident that the team will improve its finish this year.
She said the 20-day unified training in Cebu City has boosted the teamwork and individual skills of the delegates.
Region 7, a consistent fourth-place finisher, dropped to sixth place in the 2015 Palarong Pambansa in Tagum City but managed to go back to fourth place a year later in Legazpi, Albay.
The Region 7 delegation is facing another challenge but this time it’s more daunting as it dropped to ninth place last year.
A total of 1,311 medals will be at stake for the 17-region meet.
With most of the games already underway, Duterte reminded the students of the importance of this experience to them.
“Being in the Palarong Pambansa is one of your journeys toward success. This is the beginning of your contribution to nationbuilding,” he said.
“To the parents of the athletes, the better way to show love to your children is by helping them develop their potentials.”
Also in the opening ceremony were Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, Bantay, Ilocos Sur Mayor Samuel Parilla II, Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioners Ramon Fernandez and Raymond Maxey.
“We are very thankful to President Duterte because it’s only in his administration that the education department received a bigger budget. We got a budget of over P100 billion,” said Briones. (Sun. Star Philippines)