As over-all champions in both elementary and secondary divisions, the Bulacan Provincial Schools Division snatched the P100,000 cash incentives donated by Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla during the opening ceremonies last Sunday.
School heads and coaches said they will start their preparation for the prestigious Palarong Pambansa, while heads of local government units vowed not only to give cash incentives to medalists, but will also provide assistance in their training.
“This is our 16th over-all championship in the CLRAA,” said Dr. Edna Zerrudo, Department of Education (DepEd) division superintendent for Bulacan after the awarding ceremony.
She stressed that Bulacan’s provincial schools division remained as the sports power in Central Luzon despite the creation of the city schools division in the cities of Malolos and San Jose Del Monte.
The said city schools divisions were created after the conversion of the towns of San Jose Del Monte and Malolos into component cities of Bulacan in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
“Bulacan could have been more overpowering if athletes from the two city schools division are still playing under the banner of the provincial schools division,” Zerrudo said.
Other members of the 18 schools division in Central Luzon hoped that the creation of two city schools division in Bulacan would weaken the provincial schools division’s capability.
But Bulakenyo athletes proved them wrong as Bulacan provincial schools division ruled both elementary and secondary divisions of the CLRAA, Zerrudo added.
Pampanga placed second in the overall ranking in both elementary and high school divisions.
In the elementary division, Malolos city placed third, followed by the provinces of Aurora and Bataan, and the City of Olongapo at sixth place.
In the high school division, other members of the tops six are: Bataan (3rd), Olongapo City (4th), Angeles City (5th), and Nueva Ecija (6th).
During the awarding ceremonies at the Bulacan Sports Complex here, Dr. Teofila Villanueva, DepEd Regional Director for Central Luzon, handed to Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado and errudo the brown envelope containing the P100,000 cash reward donated by Revilla on Sunday.
However, unlike the colorful opening ceremonies last Sunday, the awarding and closing ceremony on Friday was dull with only few of the about 9,000 athletes, coaches and school heads present.
This is due to the fact that some of the athletes started going home as early as Wednesday after performing in the sports events. Other remained in their quarters until Friday afternoon to rest.
Concerns were also raised by some trainers on the standards of the games as DepEd Regional Office did not show if there are game’s records broken this year.
But the biggest concern on standards is DepEd’s failure to show records in previous CLRAA competitions especially on athletics.
Trainers and coaches who asked not to be named said that old game’s records on specific athletic events could have inspired their athletes to perform better as they will try to break records.
“We don’t know what record to break,” a coach said.
The coaches said that records set by CLRAA athletes in the past can be compared to records set in previous Palarong Pambansa to know their athlete’s chances.