Around 7,000 delegates representing different divisions of Region 7 paraded in a colourful opening ceremony of the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) Meet last February 7 at the newly-constructed Teodoro Mendiola Sr. Sports Oval, in Naga City, Cebu.
The 13 divisionsinclude the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor; and the cities of Bogo, Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Tagbilaran,Talisay, Toledo, and the host city, Naga.
With this year’s theme“Go with a unified spirit toward excellence in sport”, these divisions will try to outsmart each other in a friendly competition for the right to represent Region 7 in the Palarong Pambansa this April in Albay.
Juliet Jeruta, Region 7, DepEd Director,stressed that one of the most unifying factors that could gather an assembly of people as well as make people shout with joy is the enthusiasm for sports.
Jeruta congratulated all the parents, teachers, coaches, schools, local government units, and the provincial government of Cebu for producing a large number of athletes.
To show support for all the participating elementary and high school athletes, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa, 1st District Representative Samsam Gullas, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Danao City Mayor Ramonito Durano III, and some city officials were present during the ceremony.
In welcoming the athletes, Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong said that it is their honor to host a big sporting event in their city.
The mayor gladly thanked everyone involved in putting up the ceremony and making it a success. “All of these can only be achieved with cooperation and unity,” Chiong said.
During the welcome speech, Chiong also apologized to the Mandaue City division for an unfortunate event that happened the day before the opening ceremony.
However, the mayor assured that the police personnel in Naga are on high alert to avoid such incident from happening again.
On a lighter note, the opening ceremony showcased a dance from the three Dagitab festival winners: Naga Natl. High School, Balirong Natl. High School, and Uling Natl. High School.
The impressive fireworks display which signalled the opening of the 5-day sportingevent left the delegates and the spectators in amazement.
Cebu province sent 855 athletes, the most number of participants in the competition. While Cebu City provided 846 athletes; Mandaue with 780; Bohol with 760; Tagbilaran with 600; Lapulapu with 550, Danao with 513; while Carcar has 500 athletes; Toledo has 451; Naga has 419; Bogo with 315; and Siquijor with 281.