Palarong Pambansa is now officially open

As the long-awaited Palarong Pambansa 2016 officially opened, over 12,000 delegates including student-athletes, coaches, and officials from all 18 regions have gathered at Bicol University, Albay, for the opening ceremonies, held April 10.

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Following the delegates’ parade, Cagsawa Festival Dancers from Region V perform a dance intermission number before the audience of Palarong Pambansa 2016.

The Department of Education (DepEd), along with this year’s Palarong Pambansa provincial host Albay, formally welcomed thousands of visitors to the games, marking the start of a week-long event in a colorful mix of costumes, flags, and banners.

Thousands of delegates paraded along the streets of Legazpi City just before the opening ceremonies, eventually coming together at the university grandstand.

This year, supporters of the student-athletes swelled the total number of Palarong Pambansa guests of up to 17,000 people.

With the theme: “Transforming Communities, Transcending Through K to 12,” DepEd aims to promote physical education and sports as an integral part of basic education for a holistically-developed youth that is responsible and globally-competitive.

Palarong Pambansa 2016 will run from April 10 to 16, 2016. A total of 18 regions are joining the games this year, with the addition of the recently-established Negros Island Region.

It will be participated by elementary and secondary students from public and private schools nationwide.

The elementary level will compete in 15 games, while the secondary level will compete in 17 games and four demonstration sports: futsal, wushu, billiards and wrestling.

This year’s event will determine whether these four demonstration sports should be included as regular games in the succeeding Palarong Pambansa events.

One of many the highlights of the Palarong Pambansa is the special games for children with special needs. These include athletics, swimming, goal ball, and bocce—a ball sport closely related to bowling.

Student-athletes with special needs are given the chance to be scouted and compete in the games of the Palarong Pambansa.

[Read the full story here]

—From the Department of Education