The Department of Education and the Province of Albay have forged partnership with ABS-CBN Sports and Action to be the official broadcast partner of the Palarong Pambansa 2016 from April 10 to 16 in Legazpi City, Albay.
“As a channel committed to sports development, we know it is important to show the stories of our sports heroes in inspiring Filipinos especially the youth,” said ABS-CBN Sports and Action channel head Vince Rodriguez on Tuesday during the contract signing rites held at the ELJ Communications Center in Quezon City.
Besides Rodriguez, also present were ABS-CBN regional head lawyer Abigail Querubin-Aquino, DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano of Beach Volleyball Republic and Carmela Tunay of University of Santo Tomas.
“This is the dream for many Filipino athletes. All across the country, almost all the kids you see playing has the aspiration to join the Palarong Pambansa. For many, to be able to get there is already the ultimate dream, but for others, that is a stepping stone to even bigger dreams – to compete for the Philippines, in the name of the Philippines and to carry the banner,” said Cayetano.
Salceda said that Albay is now 98 now percent ready with preparations in full swing including the security of 32 sports venues and 24 billeting centers for the 14,000 delegates from the country’s 18 regions.
“We did humanly imaginable [preparations]to be the safest Palarong Pambansa host,” said Salceda.
There will be 18 regions competing in the meet this year with the inclusion of the newly established Negros Island Region.
“We can consider this one as the biggest Palaro,” said Umali.
The 59th edition of Palaro, with the theme Transforming communities, transcending through K-12, will feature 15 events for elementary level athletes, 21 events for secondary level athletes plus four demonstration sports namely futsal, wushu, billiards and wrestling.
The Palarong Pambansa served as springboard to athletic fame of some famous Filipino athletes among them Asia’s Sprint Queen of the 1980’s Lydia De Vega-Mercado, long jump star Elma Muros-Posadas and former Azkals Chieffy Caligdong.
The annual sporting event is implemented in accordance with Republic Act No. 10588, also known as the Palarong Pambansa Act of 2013.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID