AS THE annual Palarong Pambansa formally kicked off Vigan City Ilocos Sur, Cordillera athletes kicked off their campaign to surpass its sixth place finish last year.
“Our athletes are all fired up, not only because of a higher incentives for medalists but also to prove we are one of the sports power house in Luzon,” said Deputy Regional Sports Coordinator Georaloy Palao-ay of the Department of Education.
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is hoping to improve on the 26 gold, 21 silver, and 21 bronze medal output in the 2017 edition of the annual sports meet.
The region has sent 608 athletes for the regular and demo sports and will be joined by 137 coaches and officials as they carry the moniker ‘Fearless Highlanders.’
Bulk of the athletes will be from Baguio City after lording the 2018 Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) meet with 211 while Benguet has 86 as Abra and Ifugao added 54 and 36. Tabuk City and Kalinga is set to send 49 with Apayao sending 32 while Mt. Province has 21.
Palao-ay added Cordillera athletes have something to look forward to as they are set to receive P5,000 for every gold medal while the silver and bronze will get P3,000 and P2,000 respectively.
Last year, athletes cash incentives were at P3,000, P2,000, and P1,000 for gold, silver and bronze medalists. Incentives for team events will be different, according to DepEd while coaches and trainors will also receive separate cash incentives.
“Aside from our individual competitors, our team events have promised they will deliver this time. Hopefully they will be in the medal standings this year,” added Palao-ay.
Cordillera will once again pin its hopes on arnis, taekwondo, wushu, archery, and chess as top archer Charmaine Angela Villamor vowed to defend her gold medals in four events.
Villamor will defend her gold medals in the 40, 50, 60 meters and the single FITA round where she recorded 1301 points to top the event where she was named the region’s top medal performer during the 2017 edition.
Although Villamor said she remains focus of retaining al the four gold medals, the grade 10 student of Pines City National High School is setting her sight on breaking her own record. (Roderick Osis)