“Clean, green, and hi-tech.”
This is how Education Secretary Armin Luistro described the 2012 Palarong Pambansa which kicks off today, May 6, in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
“We are confident to say that all necessary arrangements have been secured to make this year’s Palaro truly remarkable and successful,” said Luistro who acts as the Chairman of the Palarong Pambansa Board.
The week-long event, which will run until May 13, is hosted by the Province of Pangasinan. Tight security inside and outside the Palaro venues as well as the presence of medical team from local hospitals to look after the athletes during the sports competitions have been promised by Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino. “A security officer will be assigned in every billeting quarter to monitor and ensure the safety of Palaro delegates,” Luistro said.
A week before the opening, Luistro has also tasked the National Screening and Accreditation Committee to facilitate the screening and accreditation of athletes and coaches using stricter implementation of the guidelines.
As part of the preparations for the major sporting event, the provincial government of Pangasinan has also partnered with DepEd in launching the new website for the 2012 Palaro. The new website boasts of its high functionality and uniqueness and promises to deliver the ‘most digital’ coverage in the history of Palaro.
It features individual sports channels for 17 sports categories for live streaming with real time scoring and replays of the games. The Palaro 2012 TV will also be launched to showcase extraordinary stories of athletes and their journey at the Palaro, messages from guests, and other interesting stories.
Luistro said that the Palaro will also use the breakthrough Social Media Command Center for faster response to queries and suggestions. The command center will serve as the central network of connection among participants and officials.
The DepEd has also partnered with social news network Rappler as its official social media partner. Updates may be viewed viahttp://www.rappler.com/sports/palarong-pambansa-2012. The organizers are aiming for Palarong Pambansa to trend worldwide on twitter for the duration of the games by using #palaro2012 for all Palaro related updates.
Luistro said that for years, the Palarong Pambansa has never failed to produce notable athletes in different fields of sports. “While we expect that Palarong Pambansa will boost regional pride among our competing regional athletic associations, to the athletes, joining the competition has a deeper meaning,” he said.
The DepEd chief said that the 2012 Palaro will showcase a new roster of talents that may soon follow the tracks of legendary Filipino athletes. Some of the athletes to look forward to include those that come from Region XII like Jade Bornia in the field of boxing, Rachiel Paterno in 800 meter run athletics for elementary girls and Romnick Nor in 100 meter dash athletics for secondary level.
Mae Barit is no stranger in acquiring honors in the Palaro. Last year, she was declared as the gold medalist during the Athletics competition for secondary girls in Dapitan City, where she represented Region XI. Jomel Renolayan shares the same story. He bagged the silver medal during last year’s Arnis competition for the full contact Extra Light weight category. He will still be competing for the same category this year representing his town, Albay, of Region V.
In Rhythmic Gymnastics, the match between two outstanding gymnasts from NCR, freshman student Arielle Nichole Orella, and Mary Carmelli Garovillo from Region 7, is something to watch out for. Orella is a consistent Palarong Pambansa Gold medalist since her elementary years while Garovillo, who had just graduated as salutatorian in elementary, was last year’s gold medalist and was a consistent winner in their region.
Luistro said that these are just a few of the many outstanding players that the nation will witness during the Palaro. While preparations, hard work and sacrifices will all boil down into a single fight that could possibly shape their future as athletes, he reminded that the Palaro is more than just a national sports competition. “It could be the first step to reaching their dreams in the world of sports since it opens many doors of opportunities to unfold their full potentials,” he ended.
By INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT