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Jets, skydivers in Palaro rites

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The country’s most decorated long jumper Elma Muros will carry the torch and local pride, and many-time tennis national champion Marian Capadocia will lit the cauldron when the Palarong Pambansa’s 60th edition comes off the wraps Sunday here.

Newly-acquired fighter jets of the Philippine Air Force will make a flyby to salute the guest of honor, President Rodrigo Duterte, and Army skydivers will descend from the skies in aerial display of synchronized acrobatic formations.

Even the nation’s most revered sportsfest has not been spared change in its opening spectacle.

First-time host Antique and its leader who has ended a political dynasty here, Gov. Rhodora “Dodod” Cadiao, have orchestrated a spectacle that is a blend of old culture and the magic of new techology, and of bold imagination with the best of the Palaro tradition.

The exhausting and time-consuming snake parade of previous years will be distant memory.

An improbable innovator in its first turn to host the games, Antique will unveil instead a convergence dance parade that promises to be “entirely original and memorable,” said Cadiao.

It will bring to a convergence as well LED television technology and the magic of laptops and cellphones in this age of Facebook and other social media networks.

The 18 regional delegations will march off from several directions at the newly-renovated Binirayan Sports Complex, converging into an opening extravaganza made memorable by the cultural dances to be performed by the famed “Tutusan Tribe” from the island-municipality of Caluya.

“We are going to show the best of Antique’s rich history in a riot of color, costume, talent and drama,” said Cadiao, who heads the Organizing Committee.

“We may not be able to match the grandeur of past Palaro,” she said, “but we have a lot of surprises in store for our visitors and guests.”

Simultaneous dancesport numbers of 250 couples will come off to the tune and beat of the swing, rumba, mambo, cha-cha, corridos, latin, tango, jive, reggae, salsa and samba.

Antique’s coming-out party will also feature an army of select students from its lone university and various colleges. They will perform the sport of aero gymnastics with a display of complex and high-intensity movement in patterns of varying difficulties.