KIDAPAWAN CITY: North Cotabato’s public and private schools, grouped in eight zones, competed in 20 amateur sports and athletic games of the 40th provincial meet that winded up Sunday to kick off the widely awaited 2013 Kalivungan Festival here in celebration of the province’s 99th founding anniversary.
Zone III comprising schools in Pikit, Kabacan and Carmer towns bagged the championship in elementary category, while Zone II from M’lang and Tulunan towns won the top place in secondary bracket.
At the awarding ceremonies Sunday, North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza lauded and inspired the 3,288 elementary and secondary athletes and their coaches for abiding by the spirit of sportsmanship in three days of actions in 20 different athletic games.
Gov. Mendoza lauded also the services of police, military and security agents in the three-day meet at the sports ground of the provincial capitol complex in Barangay Amas here where no untoward incident was reported.
The 40th provincial meet formed part of the pre-celebration of the Kalivungan Festival, which would formally open Monday in the same colorfully-decorated capitol complex and designated field areas of commemorations.
It was preceded by separate pre-celebration activities including a regional forum on rubber industry, the job fair for 500 work slots offered to the province by Davao City-based call centers, and the inauguration of the P64-million new hospital annex building inside the complex, among others.
All the pre-celebration activities pushed through smoothly, according to Gov. Mondoza, who expects a similar trend in the week-long Kalivungan festival.
Following the recent spate of bombings in some North Cotabato towns, police and military authorities said they would discourage festival visitors from bringing in backpacks.
Backpacks would be strictly searched and deposited at designated centers on the entry and exit gates of the provincial complex here, police and military officials said.
Local and national dignitaries are expected to witness the festival, which would showcase the gains and potentials of the province, including the rich culture and traditions of coexisting Muslim, Christian and indigenous tribal residents and the provincial ecotourism assets.