CEBU CITY, Philippines - The best of the best student athletes in elementary and secondary from all 18 regions of the country will converge in San Jose de Buenavista City of Antique Province for the 60th edition of the Palarong Pambansa 2017, the biggest inter-school competition organized by the Department of Education (DepEd).
DepEd has calendared the 2017 Palarong Pambansa from April 10 to 16, 2017. However, these dates coincide with the Holy Week which will be from April 9 to 15, 2017.
Zenaida Gocotano, sports coordinator of the Department of Education Cebu City division, said that although Antique Province has been confirmed to host the inter-school competition, the dates are not yet final.
She added that most likely, the Palaro dates will be finalized after most regions are done with their respective regional meets in February or March.
Region 7 itself will be holding its own Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) Meet from February 12 to 17, 2017 in the City of Naga, here.
According to Gocotano, the Palarong Pambansa is often held in May. This year, it was held in April in Legazpi, Albay to make way for the National and Local elections which happened in May.
This will be the first time that Antique province will get to host the Palarong Pambansa after edging Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental by a point during the voting done last month by the Palarong Pambansa Selection Committee. The two provinces were left as the remaining bidders after Negros Occidental, Cebu and Iloilo all withdrew their bid citing lack of funds to host the event.
With Antique hosting the Palarong Pambansa, this will give ample chance for the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) or Region 6 to improve its third overall finish this year as Antique is part of the region, which gives the third placers the so-called “homecourt” advantage.
WVRAA finished third with a medal tally of 35 golds, 35 silvers and 39 bronze medals following the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) which ended at the No.1 spot for the nth time with 104-57-48 and second placer Southern Tagalog Calabarzon Athletic Association (STCAA) or Region 4A with 40-43-59.
Rounding up the top 5 were CVRAA at No.4 with 29-31-29 and fifth placer Northern Mindanao Regional Athletic Association (NMRAA) or Region 10 with 25-34-36.
The rest of the 13 regions are expected to send in their best athletes for the multi-sporting week-long event.
New Sporting Events
Four sports will be added to the regular sporting events in next year’s Palarong Pambansa. These are wushu, billiard, wrestling and futsal. They are not exactly “new sports” but in the previous years, they were only held as demo sports which means medals won in these events are not counted in the overall medal tally.
The rest of the regular sporting events to be contested in the secondary division are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics (MAG, WAG and RG), sepak takraw seniors, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis and volleyball.
The same events will be contested in the elementary division except for archery and boxing.
To be played as new demo sports are dancesports, pencak silat and aquatic gymnastics.
DepEd is also pushing for the inclusion of chess, 50-meter and century dashes for the differently-abled athletes in the 60th edition of the Palarong Pambansa. – Rappler.com