by Kristel Satumbaga
After 69 years, Davao City – the home of President Duterte – bristles with various activities with the staging of the Palarong Pambansa as the main focus starting today at the University of the Philippines Sports Complex.
Around 18,000 student-athletes and coaches are all accounted for as they vie for supremacy in different disciplines with Duterte as the special guest in today’s opening ceremony.
The last time Davao City hosted the Palaro was in 1950 when the event was still known as the Bureau of Public Schools Interscholastic Athletics Association.
This will be the third straight time that the President will be gracing the event in his massive campaign to pursue excellence in sports.
Seventeen regions are participating in the week-long competitions with National Capital Region seeking to retain its overall crown.
Out to foil NCR’s title bid are Calabarzon and Western Visayas.
Last year, NCR bets harvested 110 gold, 70 silver and 50 bronze medals while Calabarzon and Western Visayas finished with 55-50-73 and 46-45-55 gold-silver-bronze tallies.
Backing the Department of Education in the staging of the event is Philippine Sports Commission whose chairman – Butch Ramirez – is also a product of the city.
Apart from traditional sports, indigenous sports will also be re-introduced this year in line with President Duterte’s campaign of making sports available to all Filipinos.