CAPAS, Tarlac – The New Clark City (NCC) has given this historic town a new identity.
At the First Philippine National Open Swimming Championship here, Mayor Reynaldo “ReyCat” Catacutan said the 9,450-hectare NCC has given rise to a new identity to a modern Capas from being a “dead spot.”
“Death March was our history. NCC is our destiny,” Catacutan said during the press conference for the event.
“Dati po dead spot ang Capas. Hirap ang mga telcos sa signal. Kilala din po kami sa kasaysayan ng Death March. Kami rin po ay lubos na apektado ng Pinatubo. Pero ngayon po meron na kaming bagong pagkalilanlan dahil sa NCC,” Catacutan said.
During World War II, Capas has served as culmination point in the infamous Death March that started from Bataan province where American and Filipino soldiers were forced to a 60-kilometer march
The swimming event here, the very first of its kind, served as qualifying rounds for tankers aspiring to become part of Philippine team to the upcoming Southeast Asian Games this November.
A total of 195 swimmers are vying for 36-40 slots in the swimming delegation, said national head coach Sherwin Santiago.
Organizers of the event are impressed with the newly-built Aquatics Center at NCC, calling it as truly world-class.
The 10-lane pool meet the requirement set by Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) — the world governing body for aquatics. It has been duly certified.
It also boasts of an 8-lane training pool and a diving pool with a 5-meter maximum depth.
Lani Velasco, president of the Philippine Swimming Inc. said the facility is a “fast pool,” the very first of its kind in the Philippines.
The term is used to describe a pool that has effective lane lines and wave-absorbing gutters which help swimmers finish on faster times.
“Our swimmers are so happy having this facility. I think our swimmers can make us proud sa SEA Games. Mataas ang moral nila. They are all excited,” Velasco said in the press conference.
Vince Dizon, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president, said the NCC will become the new home of national athletes.