LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – With the opening of the 59th Palarong Pambansa only days away, delegates from various regions have started to arrive in the province of Albay.
Some have begun practicing at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex, the primary venue of the annual sporting event located in the main campus of Bicol University here.
The venue, which includes facilities such as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a rubberized track oval, and a grandstand, was partially opened to those who would like to practice as final preparations were still being made.
The swimming pools, for instance, are yet to be completed with paved pathways and a proper water system as fire trucks fill them up with water from other pools all over Albay.
According to Albay Governor Joey Salceda, 1.9 million liters of water were transported from around the province “because we don’t want anybody to have a bad (experience).”
Salceda, who promises a memorable touristic experience for the youth games, also shared during the Palaro press conference on Tuesday, April 5, how student-athletes from around the archipelago are enjoying playing, running, and training with the majestic Mayon Volcano as their backdrop.
“The whole place is now a big sports domain. The people are very excited and very supportive,” he said.
Ramon Fiel Abcede, regional director of the Department of Education for Region V, told Rappler the pools should be finished before the scheduled swimming events begin on April 12.
Student-athletes can likewise be seen practicing at the university’s commencement grounds, which is an open field inside the campus neighboring the sports complex. Though not all of the delegates can practice there at the same time.
Aside from the arrival of delegates, several stalls selling mostly souvenir items of the event have begun setting up. Some bands that will perform during the opening parade can also be heard practicing throughout the day.
From April 10 to 16, the province of Albay will be hosting the Palarong Pambansa for the first time with the theme, “Transforming Communities, Transcending Through K to 12.” – with reports from Jane Bracher and Randall Matthew Lorayes/Rappler.com
Randall Matthew Lorayes is a Rappler intern who is in his third year of studying AB Broadcasting at Bicol University.
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