Palaro Unwraps in Iloilo

Article excerpt

Byline: eddie alinea

ILOILO CITY Schools First Initiative: Athletes First, Winning Second. With this as theme, the 2005 Palarong Pambansa raises its curtain today with one of the provinces most illustrious sons, Senate President Franklin Drilon, as guest of honor at the Iloilo Sports Complex here.

A colorful opening ceremony of songs and dances showcasing the rich cultural tradition of Iloilo Province and Iloilo Citys as well as stressing the role sports and athletes play in building a strong and responsible citizenry will mark the opening of the annual competition among athletes in the elementary and secondary levels.

Besides regaling the some 7,000 athletes and officials representing the 17 participating regions and other guests with cultural shows to be performed by the Kahilwayan, Pintados, Tultugan and Binirayan tribal dance groups, todays program will focus on the Palaro being the breeding ground of Filipino international gold medal winners and world-class athletes.

Three of the provinces outstanding products Southeast Asian Games gold medalist John Lozada, silver medalist Sean Guevarra and triathlon champion Rudy Fernandez will be at the forefront of runners, along with those representing each region, that will carry the 2005 Palarong Pambansa Torch from where the flame that will light the urn will come.

Education Secretary Florencio Abad, whose department has regained the right to organize and supervise the Games from the Philippine Sports Commission, will introduce the guest of honor and speaker.

Gov. …