Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tarlac starts countdown to 53rd Palarong Pambansa

Tarlac City (Feb 18, 2010) -- The Province of Tarlac , host of the 2010 Palarong Pambansa starts its countdown today, 53 days to the April 11 national games.

The province woke up to the pealing of churchbells and a burst of firecrackers to start the day long activities winding up to the lighting of Palaro lanterns and a fireworks display.

According to Tarlac Governor Victor Yap the countdown is set at 53 days as this year’s Palarong Pambansa is the 53rd edition. Started in 1948, first as the annual meet of the Bureau of Public Schools Inter –scholastic Athletic Association and eventually as it is called now, -- the Palarong Pambansa was cancelled 10 times due to .prevailing political condition of the country then.

Yap says hosting the event is important to Tarlac as it is the fulfillment of a dream. ‘It took all of 53 years before the Palarong Pambansa comes home to Tarlac.” he said. “We have been preparing for this. We are a landlocked province, we don’t have the natural wonders but we have discovered our niche –sports .” And the best way to introduce the province as the new sports destination in the country is by hosting the biggest national sporting event.

Yap says Tarlac has just the right amount of wind and elevation for a safe glide, an exciting contour for a cycling hub, mini water systems in the recesses of its uplands best for kayaking and a 78 hectare sports and recreational park that can host a national sporting event like the Palaro.

In today’s ceremonial launch, Yap and Education officials here unveiled a huge tarpaulin billboard that announces the Province as host of the 2010 national games. Simultaneous activities were also undertaken in other towns of the province.

Yap also introduced “Palaro” this years mascot. “As first time host, we mark this event with this mascot. we named “Palaro”, -- a multi-faceted yet roundly unified ball to symbolize the energy, the discipline and the verve that go with every jump, every kick and every bounce made during the games.” Yap said.

He also said that “much like Tarlac , dubbed as the melting pot of Central Luzon where diverse cultures meet and mix, , mascot ‘palaro” also represents convergence and oneness.”

Amid the noise and frenzy of the coming national elections, Yap is confident the aims and objectives of the Palarong Pambansa will not be overshadowed. Yap says “ the palarong pambansa is our well spring of homegrown Filipino athletes. We must support it for in this annual event, we nurture not only tomorrow’s sports champions but also tomorrow’s citizens, nourished by the positive values and discipline that this sports competition brings. “

This year’s Palaro is expected to bring in some 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 17 athletic regions in the country. It runs from April 11 -17. There will be 17 games with separate sets for elementary and secondary students.

Smart Communications Inc. and ShoeMart are major sponsors of the games. @

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