Arnis prodigies propel Soccsksargen to early lead in Palarong Pambansa 2018

Mara Cepeda
Arnis prodigies propel Soccsksargen to early lead in Palarong Pambansa 2018
Arnis players Princess Sheryl Valdez and Andrei Alcarioto from Tacurong City shine on the second day of this year's Palarong Pambansa

ILOCOS SUR, Philippines – It rained gold for Soccsksargen on the second day of the Palarong Pambansa 2018, earning the region the top spot in the partial medal tally so far. 

As of 5 pm on Tuesday, April 17, the Soccsksargen Regional Athletics Association collected 6 gold, 3 silver, and 5 bronze medals. (LIVE UPDATES: Palarong Pambansa 2018 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Following closely behind are Western Visayas with 4 golds, 5 silvers, and 5 bronzes, and powerhouse National Capital Region with 4 gold, 4 silver, and 2 gold medals.

Soccsksargen’s early lead in the games is all thanks to two arnis prodigies, school mates Princess Sheryl Valdez and Andrei Fritz Justine Alcarioto, who secured a combined total of 6 gold medals on Tuesday.  

Valdez and Alcarioto both hail from Isabela Central Elementary School, defending champions of arnis in the elementary division. (READ: Family inspires Palarong Pambansa 2018 arnis gold medalists from Tacurong City)

Meanwhile, Grade 11 student Bea Mendoza from Baguio City earned Palarong Pambansa 2018’s first double-gold medal in chess after beating Southern Tagalog’s Kylen Joy Mordido in the chess blitz for high school girls. 

Another Grade 11 student made history in this year’s Palaro. Ann Katherine Quitoy of Bacolod City broke the record for javelin throw after she posted 45.72 meters for her throw, almost 4 meters more than the previous recrd set by Sylvian Abunda in last year’s games. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.