Athletes from many regions in the country have started trickling in and are now in Davao City for Palarong Pambansa 2019, the biggest sporting event for elementary and secondary students in the country.
The Palaro, which serves as the Department of Education’s flagship sports program, won’t be managed by the department alone this year as the Philippine Sports Commission has stepped in to help run the many events of the games as well.
The PSC has already made its presence felt in the games, with Chairman Butch Ramirez visiting and inspecting the facilities that will be used during the weeklong meet.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to grace the Palarong Pambansa in his hometown in Davao this Sunday—the third straight time that he will be around to inspire and challenge the youth to strive for excellence in the country’s annual talent search.
The early arrivals include participants from Western Visayas region, considered as a big contender.
Athletics, along with another premier event in swimming, will be held at the track and field oval and swimming pool of the Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports Complex.
Powerhouse National Capital Region, which has dominated the meet in terms of medals for many years, is once again expected to face challenges from Western Visayas, as well as the Southern Tagalog Region (Region IV-A).
NCR still took last year’s overall honors with 100 golds, 70 silvers and 50 bronze medals.
On the other hand, Region IV-A, which placed second with its 55-50-73 gold-silver-bronze tally, could be in the running for the no. 2 spot again.
Third placer Western Visayas is expected to do better than its 46-45-55 showing the last time around.
Around 15,000 participants are expected to compete in various playing games, including indigenous sports which will be re-introduced this year.