2015 Palarong Pambansa kicks off Sunday in Davao del Norte
ABS-CBN Sports on May 02, 2015 05:20 PM
A grass sweeper works on the grass ground of Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex before the opening of the 2015 Palarong Pambansa on Sunday.
DAVAO DEL NORTE—The games of 2015 Palarong Pambansa is also set to kick off on Sunday at the sprawling Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex (DNSTC) and in 32 other venues spread out in the province’s capital of Tagum and in nearby Panabo City.
But everything—as what is expected in the entire country—will come to an absolute halt just before mid-day.
In a show of unity and patriotism initiated by the hosts led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, all 7,000 student athletes—plus 1,500 coaches and chaperones, not counting Department of Education (DepEd) officials and relatives of the athletes—will converge at the world-standard complex to view live Manny Pacquiao’s megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Expected to set a record in terms of a public viewing of a Pacquiao fight in an outdoor facility, del Rosario will rally the delegations from all of the country’s 17 regions behind Pacquiao as he fights for God and country against the unbeaten Mayweather.
"All for Manny!" del Rosario said on the eve of the DavNor Palaro supported by the Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc., Damosa Land, Davao Packaging Corp., Davao International Container Terminal, Inc. and Pearl Farm Beach Resort.
Four giant LED screens have been set up at the DNSTC which is playing venue to a third major sports event after the Davao Region Athletic Association meet early this year and the Private Schools Athletic Association Nationals two years ago.
Competitions will kick off on Sunday in all but three—archery, swimming and taekwondo—of the 17 sports on the secondary division program.
The other sports on the secondary (high school) division program are arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball. The same sports, except for boxing, will be played in the primary division (elementary).
The National Capital Region (NCR) is the marked team entering the week-long Palaro. The Big City athletes ran away with the overall championship last year in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, with 107 gold, 64 silver and 56 bronze medals.
Calabarzon was a far second with a gold-silver-bronze haul of 38-51-51 and Western Visayas third with 32-33-38.
Davao Region was eighth in Laguna with 10-20-21 but del Rosario vowed the host delegation would target a third-place finish in the 58th edition of the multi-sport competition among student athletes in the primary and secondary level.
A total of 1,021 medals will be disputed in the DAvNor Palaro—140 gold medals are at stake in the primary division and 175 in the secondary category.
The hosts have deliberately set the formal opening ceremony on Monday starting at 4 p.m. to allow the delegations to watch Pacquiao in his historic fight.
Two of the country’s most recognizable sports icons—Eric Buhain (swimming) and Elma Muros Posadas (athletics)—will be joined by football star Yannick Tuason will help highlight the opening ceremony of the Palaro that will run under the theme "Breaking Borders, Building Peace."
Joining del Rosario in the opening ceremony are DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, who is also secretary general of the Palarong Pambansa.
Davao del Norte’s status as the Banana Capital of the Philippines, banana stations will be spread in all competition venues to sustain the athletes’ needs for potassium.
The Palaro Medical Team headed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Agapito Hornido, meanwhile, declared its readiness to attend to heat-related incidents in the games.
"We are ready for any emergency," Hornido assured, citing the tip top preparedness of the more than 400-strong members of the medical team.
Localized thunderstorms gave Davao del Norte a momentary relief from the heat on Friday. The province has posted an average heat index of 37 degree Celsius for the past days, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Division.
To prevent the young athletes from succumbing to the heat, the DepEd will not schedule outdoor games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.