Elpidio Quirino Stadium, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
April 15, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte lauded the delegates of the Palarong Pambansa 2018 as he officially declared the opening of the annual sports event at the Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

“To the student athletes who have flown all the way from their provinces to compete and represent their respective schools and regions, congratulations. The fact that you are here with us today is enough proof of your determination and excellence in your chosen sports, and that makes all of you winners and champions already,” President Duterte said during the opening ceremony.

The President added that the Palarong Pambansa serves as a training ground for the future leaders and national builders whose values and principles are founded on perseverance, discipline, teamwork, integrity, and love of country.

He also thanked the local government of Ilocos Sur for hosting the event for the third time, and hailed this year’s Palarong Pambansa a success. According to him, the event served as an opportunity to promote the culture and history of Ilocos Sur as it celebrates its bicentennial anniversary this year.

Carrying the theme, ‘Championing the Spirit of Young Filipino Athletes,’ the annual event convened the student athletes accompanied by their mentors from 17 regions across the country, to compete in various sports. It seeks to further promote camaraderie and sportsmanship among the delegates, officials, and organizers through physical education and school sports.

During the opening ceremony, President Duterte witnessed the hoisting of the Palarong Pambansa banner administered by Philippine Sports Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua, Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations and Procurement Revsee Escobedo, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Affairs and Special Concerns Marjorie Jalosjos, and Ilocos Sur Vice Governor Jeremias Singson. Meanwhile, the DepEd Regional Directors and Regional Sports Officers facilitated the hoisting of regional delegation banners followed by the lighting of the friendship cauldron led by Luis Gabriel Moreno, a gold medalist in the archery mixed team event in the Youth Olympic Games.

As host of the Palarong Pambansa 2018, the local government officials of Ilocos Sur set the Quirino Stadium as the main sports complex with its 40 playing venues where the various sports will be held, while 32 schools from the province served as the billeting areas for all the regional delegations and technical officials. A total of 1,311 medals will be awarded to the winners of regular sports, 24 medals for demonstration sports, and 264 medals for special games.

During the opening ceremony, the President was accompanied by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go. DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, Philippine Sports Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and other local government officials of Ilocos Sur received the President.

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