The annual Cebu Provincial Athletic and Cultural Meet officially kicked off with its theme, Paugnat sa Kusug ug Kulturanhong Kasaulugan Sumbanan sa Sugbuanong Kahiusahan ug Kalambuan, by acknowledging top athletes from all over the province and by putting on an awe-inspiring show at the Dalaguete National High School Open Field last November 22.
The opening of the week-long battles of courage, teamwork, arts, beauty, and brains was headed by Gov. Hilario Davide III, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and Dalaguete Mayor Roland Allan Cesante.
Municipality officials, Department of Education (DepEd) officials, coaches, officiating officials, and supportive parents of the participants were also present during the event.
Since this year’s provincial meet is hosted by the local government unit of Dalaguete, Mayor Allan Cesante formally declared the opening of the province-wide games after the traditional parade of the delegates.
According to the website of the municipality of Dalaguete, it took them less than 2 months to construct a new Olympic size swimming pool and tennis courts through the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MDPO) and the Municipal Engineering Office.Aside from the preparation of the venues for all the sports competitions, the local government of Dalaguete made sure that the delegates will be provided with safe, secured, and sanitary places to stay.
The municipality of Dalaguete houses over 12,000 participants from the 44 municipalities in the province competing in 20 events, including volleyball, basketball, football, baseball, boxing, billiards, wushu, swimming, arnis, and sepak takraw, among others.
The province-wide game also includes vocal solo, duet, balitaw, folk dance, drum, and lyre/bugle corps competition, dance palabas, and Miss DepEd Cebu Province 2015.
Word for the athletes
The governor mentioned in his inspirational message that the Provincial Government of Cebu is pursuing its commitment for the development of sports as well as the preservation of the culture in the province.
This development was the realization of the first provincial grassroots program through the Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC) in coordination with DepEd. The program aims to establish a comprehensive grassroots sports program for the coaches and athletes for the entire province.
“Nag-unang tumong natu nga mahatagan ug higayon ang mga kabataan bisan sa layu nang kabukiran nga makapalambo sa ilang abilidad sa sports. Gihan-ay na usab nato ang kalihukan alang sa pagpalig-on sa atong kultura (Our aim is to provide opportunities for our student-athletes especially those that are from the distant areas to enhance competence in sports. We are also preparing activities to strengthen our culture),” said Davide.
Guest speaker Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel in her speech stressed out that the Province of Cebu is now a pioneer in pushing grassroots sports and cultural program, “kayo nanaman ang magpapakita ng daan sa buong bansang Pilipinas, na ito ang paraan upang makapag-train tayo ng mga atleta mula sa mga barangay kasama ang DepEd family upang makapag-develop ng mga atletang pang-palarong pambansa at pang-Olympics sa hinaharap”.
As an athlete herself, Hontiveros also encouraged the athletes to press in and aim high and to be true to the sports that they are into.
“Totoo nga po na mahirap maging magaling, mahirap mag-disiplina sa sarili at magsakripisyo para sa sports na mahal mo. Maging tapat lang tayo sa kung anong sport ang meron tayo at wag kalimutang mangarap,” Hontiveros added.
Meanwhile, the newly installed DepEd Cebu Province Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud expressed her gratitude for the warm welcome in her first week of assuming office.
Angtud also encouraged the athletes to give their highest regard to sportsmanship in every competition.
“To the athletes, you are not competing with enemies; you are competing with your friends. It is an opportunity for the athletes and coaches to make new friends and to rekindle old relationships.”
On the other hand, during the opening of the annual Provincial Meet, Davide and Magpale received 500 soccer balls from the Feed the Children Foundation.
This year’s sports and cultural competition will end on Nov. 27 through a closing ceremony at the Dalaguete National High School.