TAGUM CITY- Multicolored banners are hoisted at the center-islands of the national highway upon entering Davao del Norte. Colorful flaglets can also be prominently seen along the streets leading to Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex and to the Provincial Capitol. Pathways inside the Provincial Capitol are also adorned with such flaglets.
We usually associate flaglets to something merry and festive which is about to happen. For Davao del Norte, these flaglets signal the fast-approaching 2015 Palarong Pambansa that it has long been preparing to host starting May 3 to May 9.
More than just symbols of the upcoming 2015 Palarong Pambansa, the flaglets are indicative of the preparedness of the Provincial Government to host the national sports event organized by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Delivering the Best
“We want to make this Palaro, the best Palaro ever,” Davao del Norte Provincial Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario told officials of DepEd led by Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro during his bid to host the Palaro.
Wanting to deliver his promise, Del Rosario gets hands-on in managing the preparations for the Palaro. He is frequently seen at the construction sites of playing fields and sports facilities especially those inside the Sports Complex, personally seeing to it that everything is done according to standards.
He attends executive and committee meetings, picking up concerns needing utmost attention. Lately, he sat with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) to make sure that peace and order reigns throughout the period of Davao del Norte’s hosting of the Palaro. Banking on government forces, Duterte has given his assurance of a well-secured Palarong Pambansa this year.
Taxing it might be but Governor Del Rosario personally made rounds in schools tapped as billeting quarters of Palaro delegates. Starting off as early as 7:00 a.m. on April 16, Del Rosario visited billeting sites in Tagum City, in Panabo City and in the municipalities of Carmen, Sto. Tomas, Kapalong, and New Corella.
Asked why he personally did so, Del Rosario said he wanted to make sure that “everything is in order”. He owned up the responsibility to answer all that would be left undone.
“I committed to DepEd (Department of Education) that we will make this Palaro, not only the safest, but the best ever, and we have to attain this promise,” he said in an interview.
Del Rosario also made himself available to answer questions of the media regarding the Palarong Pambansa preparation. Invited by Philippine Information Agency XI Regional Director Efren F. Elbanbuena, he faced the media during the Insulares Forum held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel on April 17. He answered questions regarding the physical and technical preparations, the economic costs of holding the Palaro, peace and order and even tourism opportunities of the Palaro.
What Governor Del Rosario has done recently are just finishing touches of Davao del Norte’s tip-tip preparations for the Palarong Pambansa. He had the vital needs prepared and almost completed late March this year. His early preparations earned the A rating at 9.7 percent of DepEd Secretary Luistro during the launching of the 2015 Palarong Pambansa on March 26, 2015.
“It is the first time that I really feel and sense that we are one month ahead of the Palarong Pambansa,” he said during the official launching which was attended by members of the National Management Committee of DepEd.
Luistro revealed that DepEd used to experience feeling the panic buttons, rushing to complete last-minute preparations including the application of painting on game venues, done before the Palaro day opening.
“Salamat sa provincial government of Davao del Norte; di po kami masyadong harassed. (Thanks to the provincial government of Davao del Norte; we are not too harassed.), he said.
He heaved a sigh of relief as he felt, for the first time, the feeling of ease during Palarong Pambansa because preparations took an advanced pace. On top of this, Luistro noted some first-time features of holding the Palaro. It is only in Davao del Norte that the Palaro Guidebook was produced and a theme song was composed.
The Palaro Guidebook reveals the contact numbers of the persons in-charge and addresses of the billeting areas, playing venues, food and beverages, health and medication per billeting site, transportation services and safety and security. It also gives details about on-line sites where to surf updates on the Palaro, as well as, informs the users of the easy-to-access tourist destinations in the city and towns where the billeting areas are located.
Davao del Norte has also produced a music video that gives life to this year’s Palarong Pambansa theme, “Sports: Breaking Borders, Building Peace.” Entitled, “Palaro ng Pagkakaisa,” it is performed by Dabawenya music artist Maan Chua and arranged by Dabawenyo musician Paolo Sisi. It features national sports icons: Elma Muros-Posadas, a 15-time gold medalist in athletics in the Southeast Asian Games; Eric Buhain, bemedalled Southeast Asian Games Filipino swimmer and a two-time Olympian; and Yannick Tuason, the forward for the national football team the Philippine Azkals..
Aside from these known first-time features, Palaro athletes, coaches, parents and visitors are expected to get surprised with Davao del Norte’s hosting of the Pambansang Palaro opening on May 4, 2015. On the night of that day, there will be lights and sounds to welcome them all. As to how this will be staged, it is still a surprise for everyone, even us here in Davao del Norte. How it may unfold, absolutely, it is designed to make this 2015 Palaro in Davao del Norte, the best ever! (PIA XI/ Jeanevive Duron –Abangan)