Palaro 2015 opens, ceremony cut short by bad weather
TAGUM CITY, Philippines – After 4 years of immense preparation, Davao del Norte's long wait to host the Palarong Pambansa ended at the opening ceremonies of the multi-sports event Monday, May 4, only to be cut short by bad weather.
Both Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Education Secretary Armin Luistro insisted that the Palaro's opening ceremony be done fast so as not to put the athletes' health at risk, after heavy downpour disrupted the festivities at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.
"Hindi na natin 'to pahahabain dahil sa malakas na ulan, baka magkasakit ang mga atleta (We won't prolong the ceremony because of the rain. The athletes could get sick)," Roxas said.
The Palarong Pambansa is the largest grassroots sporting even in the Philippines that aims to develop the potentials of the youth to become responsible and globally competitive citizens.
It is the Department of Education's way of promoting physical education and sports as an integral part of the basic education curriculum.
Worth the wait
Davao del Norte waited 65 years to host the games for the first time. The opening ceremonies, originally scheduled for Sunday, was rescheduled to Monday due to the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout.
The games opened with a Thanksgiving mass offered by Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz, followed by the Parade of Camaraderie and Friendship, which showcased the different participating regions' landmarks, industry and colors.
After the delegates boasted their trademarks along the track, the main program kicked off with the Entrance of Colors, succeeded by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem led by Thor Dulay.
Emphasizing the unity of the provinces' diverse culture and religion, an Ecumenical prayer was led by Fr Ernest Pallo (representing Christianity), Abdul Madid Linog (Islam), and Datu Kenneth Onlos (Lumad tribe).
City Mayor Allan Rellon welcomed the different delegations, education officials, and guests to Tagum after the singing of Davao Region's regional hymn and the DavNor march.
"We come here for one purpose, to promote beyond breaking borders and peace not only here or in the Philippines but in the whole world," Rellon said. – Rappler.com
Geri Ianna A. Peder, an incoming Grade 9 student, is a staff writer at The Mover, Tagum City National high school's publication.