MANILA – Laguna Governor ER Ejercito has called his province's hosting of the 2014 Palarong Pambansa a "dream come true" and a "golden opportunity" for Laguna to showcase its best in tourism, history and heritage.
The 57th Palarong Pambansa opened at the new Laguna Sports Complex yesterday, with over 11,200 athletes competing in the biggest local sporting event which now features 27 events and four demonstration sports.
"Hosting the Palarong Pambansa in the province of Laguna is a golden opportunity for us," Ejercito said before the opening ceremonies. "It's a dream come true for us to promote the best of the best that Laguna can offer."
The games, which will be held in 16 different venues across the province, allows Laguna "to showcase its 24 towns and six component cities," said Ejercito.
"We want to promote our colorful history and heritage, diverse traditions, our world class products, food and delicacies," he added. "We want to promote our tourist destinations, best services, and best practices in good governance."
The province prepared for their hosting duties over the course of four years by hosting other sporting events, including the Batang Pinoy, as well as building a new sports complex that Ejercito says has "state-of-the-art, world class facilities."
The 19-hectare Laguna Sports Complex has a 400-meter rubberized oval, as well as baseball and soccer fields; archery, rifle and pistol ranges; an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and multi-purpose gyms for indoor sports like basketball and volleyball.
Laguna also devoted 37 billeting quarters for the athletes and technical officials, while nine provincial hospitals and over 1,000 doctors are on call for the duration of the Palaro.
Ejercito said the Palaro will not only promote the province, but also teach the elementary and high school athletes values such as discipline, hard work and determination. It also serves as a way to develop young Filipino athletes who may one day represent the country in international competitions, he said.
"We want to intensify grassroots training. We want to create world class athletes to ensure their victory in upcoming local and international sports competitions," Ejercito said.
The Palarong Pambansa will be held in Laguna until May 10.