Laguna to stage first Palaro

By Joey Villar, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 14 2014 09:09 AM | Updated as of Jan 14 2014 05:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Palarong Pambansa will be held in Laguna for the first time in the 66-year history of the annual multi-sports meet for elementary and high school students with the host vowing to put its best foot forward to ensure the successful staging of the event.

“Today marks another historical moment for the province of Laguna as we signed the memorandum of agreement with the Department of Education to host the country’s largest and premier sporting event, the Palarong Pambansa 2014,” said Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito in yesterday’s press conference at the DepEd’s Bulwagan ng Karunungan in Pasig City.

Ejercito said the province is all set and ready to host the meet as it renovated its sports complex as early as last year and constructed an athletes’ village for the meet slated May 4-10.

The 19-hectare Laguna Sports Complex in Sta. Cruz will be Palaro’s main hub.

The weeklong sporting conclave will also coincide with the “La Laguna Festival.”

“It is most fitting that our country’s elite athletes experience the genuine and true spirit of the Palaro and the best that Laguna has to offer because the province is the best place to visit, to invest in and to live in,” said Ejercito.

Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, who was also present during the signing of the MOA, said there will be three sports that will be included in the games’ calendar – wushu, wrestling and billiards.

“Aside from the regular sports, the DepEd has decided to add wushu, wrestling and billiards this year because we fill those are the sports we can excel at in the international scene,” said Luistro.

Phl Sports commissioner Jolly Gomez said the government sports-funding agency will provide not just the technical sport but also equipment in various disciplines.

“The PSC has always been a partner in the Palaro because we know this is a good vehicle, like our Batang Pinoy and the Phl National Games, for us to discover talents that we hope to tap for our future national teams,” said Gomez.