Mechaella Euneece C. Debuton, Jessica M. Gaspang, Region VIII student journalists
Who would have thought that bees would compete in the country’s biggest sporting event?
The summer sun remained scorching on that fateful Sunday, April 15, here in the historic place of Vigan City. Clad in multi-colored uniforms, some with caps or umbrellas or props, athlete-delegates coming from all regions in the Philippines marched down the streets of the Heritage City, enthusiastically yelling their respective chants and executing their carefully choreographed street dance. Surprisingly, each region has its own attention-grabbing ploys just to grab the keen eyes and ears of the audiences, particularly the mainstream media.
Umbrellas swinging in the blistering air, caps waved left to right and vice versa, blue and yellow rod-shaped balloons swaying to the beat of the athletes’ chants, multifarious hand-prop choreographies have drawn smiles of entertainment on the excited faces of audiences down the streets.
The people roaming around the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, did not seem to notice the heat of the sun as they went to and fro. The athlete-delegates from all over the Philippines fell to their respective queues for the formal opening of the most prestigious sports competition in the Philippines. As lines of athletes started to tread towards the entrance of one of the heritage province’s biggest arenas, led by a bigger one, there were these adorable little vibrant bees buzzing around, preparing to get in the stadium, too!
The energy inside the Quirino Stadium was indescribable. Some delegates situated at the stadium’s bleachers depict facial expressions of eagerness and enthusiasm, fretfulness, and joy. Photographers from prominent newspaper agencies, news reporters and anchors from distinguished radio and television stations, and famous legendary athletes of the Philippines made the entire opening ceremony the most phenomenal opening rites among all program of the Department of Education. Not to mention the presence of the Philippine President, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the guest of honor, which made the event even more enormous than everyone in the stadium had ever thought.
The parts of the opening ceremony flowed smoothly like cold water in a stream under the heat of the summer sun. While everyone waited for the coming of Tatay Digong, engaging and pleasurable singing voices of live band vocalists and national crooners reverberated in the entire Quirino Stadium while scenes of athletes on the oval grounds, regional directors and superintendents on the bleachers, and other celebrities on the Palaro stage were flashed on big screens installed in some corners of the sports field.
As the Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) live camera swiped its angles from left to right of the oval grounds occupied by athletes, it caught something unusual…something new…a bee dancing with other little bees at its back!
For minutes, the dancing bees caught the distant attention of the media and that of the audiences. Delegates, athletes, dignitaries, and media men in the stadium dropped their jaw in amazement and amusement. The light dance figures of the little bees swayed everyone in joy.
As it caught the aloof attention of the mainstream media, GMA 7 TV news reporter Mark Zambrano could not help but express his appreciation on these little bees.
“You’ll never run out of creative images in #PalarongPambansa2018! Just ask this busy bee from the Region 8 Golden Stingers! @gmanews,” Zambrano posted on his Instagram account!
Surprisingly, those cute dancing little bees flew all the way from the region of resilient people – Eatern Visayas (Region VIII), calling their regional sports delegation the Golden Stingers.
Aside from the RTVM media personnel noticing the bees, the team from UNTV also caught on their camera lenses these golden stingers. The UNTV reporter even interviewed the DepEd Region VIII Director Ramir B. Uytico, as he posed together with the bees and the athletes of the resilient region.
In an informal Facebook interview with Miss Eden Dadap, DepEd Region VIII’s Project Development Officer IV, she stressed that the imaginative and awe-inspiring concept was from the Regional Director himself.
“In striking a balance between what the region is famous of (Buyogan Festival of Leyte) and the culture and the kind of excellence that DepEd Region VIII works on with, the theme was conceptualized by the Regional Director himself,” Miss shared.
The Buyogan Festival earned its fame when the Abuyog Tribe (from Abuyog Leyte) joined the Aliwan Festival and managed to win as the grand champion. The Aliwan Festival is the national grand competition of the best festivals in the Philippines, so the Buyogan Festival has surely become a significant source of pride for the people of Abuyog and for the entire Eastern Visayas Region (https://lagawan.org/buyogan-festival/).
The Region’s PDO stressed that the region might not be bemedalled, but what is important is that they are able to inculcate a heart of gold among themselves, their athletes and coaches.
“The Palaro is seen as an avenue for us all to develop that Golden value,” Dadap added with an obviously very heartening tone.
Remarkably, Miss Dadap concluded:
“Like a bee, we sting. That is, we leave a mark; we build a legacy.”