LINGAYEN—The games begin.
Sporting competitions will start today for the Palarong Pambansa 2012 and the formal opening ceremony is scheduled on May 7 with President Benigno Aquino III as guest of honor.
Police Regional Director Franklin Bucayo gave assurance on the security of all participants saying police personnel will be strategically deployed in all game venues as well as billeting areas.
More than 10,000 young athletes from around the country plus members of their delegations are in town for the annual competitions, considered as the biggest in the country.
Provincial Board Member Jeremy Rosario said all the 10,000 participating athletes were expected to be already in their respective billeting centers as of Saturday May 5.
A gun ban, upon the request of Bucayo, is currently in effect beginning April 27 until May 15 following an ordinance passed by the provincial council.
Only the police and other members of law enforcement agencies in proper uniform and performing their duties are allowed to carry firearms outside of their residences.
The main game venue is the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) here where sports events like arnis, athletics, basketball, football, sepak takraw/sipa, tennis and volleyball will be conducted.
All other game venues will equally be secured, including the Capitol Resort Hotel (archery), CSI Stadia in Dagupan City (badminton and table tennis), PNP PPO (baseball and tennis), Lingayen Municipal Plaza (boxing), Pangasinan Training and Development Center (chess), Pangasinan State University/Virgen Milagrosa University (football, volleyball and tennis), People’s Astrodome (gymnastics), Resuello-Arenas Gym (sepak takraw/sipa), Capitol beachfront (softball), Dagupan Poolsite (swimming), Divine Word Academy of Dagupan (taekwondo), Baay Elementary School (volleyball), Tonton Elementary School (volleyball).
Other venues are in Dagupan and San Carlos City.
Billeting sites, mostly public school buildings around the province, will likewise be manned by the police.
Meanwhile, some 30,000 spectators are expected to converge at the NRSCC to witness the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. which will begin after the traditional parade of the athletes from the 17 regions at 7 a.m.
Gov. Amado Espino Jr. will deliver a welcome message while Mayor Dominador Jalosjos Jr. of Dapitan City and Regional Director Dr. Walter O. Albos of DepEd Region IX will turnover the banner to Espino and Assistant Regional Director Teresita M. Velasco of DepEd Region 1.
The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the Philippines will hoist the Palarong Pambansa banner, DepEd banner and the delegation banner.
Palarong Pambansa 2011 Gold Medalist in Elementary Taekwondo Christian Rafael Daroy will lead the oath of sportsmanship.
Palaro 2012 Technical Management and Administration Deputy Secretary-General Cesar S. Abalon will lead the oath of officials.
The next activity will be the lighting of the urn of peace and friendship that will be led by P-Noy and Espino.
Philippine Basketball Association player Danny Ildefonso of Petron Blaze team in the Philippine Basketball Association, who joined Palarong Pambansa 1994 and 1995 as basketball star of Region 1, will also light a torch and relay it on to a representative of a participating region who will relay it to the next region until it reaches the Region 1 representative who will light the urn.
A field demonstration depicting the national games will follow.
The 15 provincial board members have been assigned clusters of regional delegates to oversee the security and other needs.