I just came back from Dumaguete after doing chaperone duties accompanying my eldest as she participated in the swimming event for the recently concluded Palarong Pambansa which was held in the city of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental from April 21 to April 27, 2013. The Palaro, which has been held annually since 1948, is the biggest sporting event in the country, composed of elementary and secondary school students from public and private schools from all the 17 regions of the Philippines.
We landed in Dumaguete just in time to witness the colorful parade of athletes, joined by a marching band and marjorettes, as they passed by the streets of Dumaguete; a thick throng of people crowding the streets cheering for the student-athletes. It was a festive and lively display which I enjoyed, in spite of the blaring afternoon sun.
Delegates were assigned billeting quarters in the different public schools of Negros Oriental. For the delegates of NCR, the Dumaguete City High School served as the temporary housing for all the NCR athletes, coaches and support staff. In addition shuttle buses were also provided to shuttle the athletes and coaches from the billeting quarters to the playing venues.
Food is served for breakfast, lunch, merienda and dinner - for free, ha! Moreover, fresh fruits, bottled water, juices and Gatorade were also provided for free everyday during the entire duration of the games. The DepEd of Dumaguete also made sure that the sleeping areas for the athletes were comfortable as the rooms were provided with padded mattresses for sleeping. I have heard that some of the previous sleeping accommodations for the past games were not so comfortable, with the athletes being made to sleep on top of school tables, or worse on the cold floor with just a banig .
The girl in the photo below is a member of the NCR-girls baseball team. I chanced upon a group of them inside the girls' room cubicles washing their jerseys. I took a photo with the intention of showing my own daughter how washing her own suit after every meet is not a chore that should be met with dread, but should be viewed as an opportunity - a chance to develop larger life skills like independence, industriousness and self-reliance.
To read ALL posts about Dumaguete, click here.