Palarong Pambansa 2014 kicks off on May 4

The Provincial Government and the Department of Education (DepEd) of Laguna are all set to kick off the 2014 Palarong Pambansa on May 4 at the Laguna Sports Complex in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

With the theme "Sports is A way of Life," a total of 27 sports are stake in this year’s Palarong Pambansa, the 57th edition of the annual school-based competition.

Among the sports events to be contested in are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football and gymnastics.

Athletes in both elementary and secondary level will also participate in softball, sepak takraw, sipa, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, lawn tennis, volleyball.

Also, there will be four demonstration sports—billiards, futsal, wushu and wrestling—and two special games—bocce and goal ball.

More than 11,000 athletes from 17 regions are eager to begin their campaign on Sunday in 16 venues with the newly-renovated 19-hectare Laguna Sports Complex as the main hub.

WBO Welterweight Champion and Sarangani Congressman Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao will lead a star-studded opening ceremony on Monday at 8 a.m., Laguna Gov. Jeorge Ejercito Estregan said.

The PNA report said Filipino boxing champ will join Filipino Winter Olympian Michael Martinez, actor and former Palaro swimmer Enchong Dee, basketball star James Yap and track and field team captain Jericho Estregan in the torch lighting.

"We five runners will run 70 meters each during the Palaro torch relay with Pacquiao to light the Palaro flame," Gov. Estregan announced in a press conference at the SM mall in Calamba City late Wednesday night. (Statement from pna.gov.ph)

Also expected to join in the opening day of the weeklong summer sports competition are former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Director General of Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) Authority Joel Villanueva.

Guest TV host Dyan Castillejo and Ginger Conejero and basketball stars Jerona nd Jeric Teng are expected at the opening.

The competition was held last year in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. National Capital Region (NCR) won the overall titles in both elementary and secondary divisions.

Western Visayas (Region VI) and Central Visayas (Region VII) are expected to provide strong challenge to NCR as they finished second and third, respectively, in the 2013 Palarong Pambansa medal tally.

This year’s host region, Calabarzon (Region IV-A), finished last year in fifth place overall.

(Image courtesy of DepED Palarong Pambasa)

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