All roads to Antique for 2017 Palarong Pambansa; Palaro “legends” will be honored

MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Province of Antique on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for its co-operation and to ensure the proper staging of the 60th edition of Palarong Pambansa which will be held starting April 23 in San Jose, Buenavista, Antique. Newly-confirmed Secretary of Education Leonor Briones and Governor Rhodora Cadiao signed the MOA for the government and for the host local government unit, respectively.

Tonisito Umali , DepEd Assistant Secretary for legal and affairs, and Pampross J. Pagunsan, provincial administrator of Antique and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) board member Celia Kiram witnessed the historic signing.

Briones said that her department had utilized Php 350 million in the whole sports exercise, starting in the holding of lower meets – division, regional and this Palaro.

“ We are inviting everybody to share the fun and goodwill of the Palaro,” said Briones, stressing that under her watched sports would be a top priority.

Cadiao said that her province was ready for the annual sports conclave . In fact, Cadiao pointed that all the games facilities were 95 percent finished based on the assessment team of the education department , headed by Umali, who is also the Palaro secretary-general.

The lady governor said her province appropriated Php 40 million for their hosting of the annual school-based meet with additional Php 10 million from PSC.

Umali said that for the first time in the Palaro, which begun in 1948, “legends” of the meet would be honored.Among great talents produced by the Palarong Pambansa are: Lydia de Vega and Elma Muros, Marestela Torres all in (athletics); Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, of Bago City and Atlanta Olympic silver medalist ; Dyan Castillejo for tennis; Joper Escueta and Gabriel Magnaye for badminton; Violito Payla for boxing; Enchong Dee and Eric Buhain for swimming; Joan Chan for archery; and Mark Paragua for chess; Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players Danny Ildefonso, Marlou Aquino, Willie Miller, Samboy Lim, and Kirby Raymundo; and Azkals’ Chieffy Caligdong, among others. Primo Agatep/