DAVAO CITY, April 28, 2019 – The Department of Education (DepEd), together with the DepEd-Youth Formation Division (YFD), DepEd Region XI, and the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Davao City, introduced on April 27 Larong Pinoy and the Sports Heroes Day as new highlights during the 62nd Palarong Pambansa.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones described these as “two exciting events that speak of our commitment and loyalty to our culture that reflects our soul and unites our people.”

“Also known as the Philippine indigenous games, Larong Pinoy aims to strengthen and revive the traditional Pinoy games, while the Sports Heroes Day provides our young athletes the opportunity to personally interact with Filipino sports icons,” Briones further stated during her message for the country’s premier national sporting event for student-athletes.

Appreciation of indigenous games
Larong Pinoy seeks to strengthen and revive the traditional Pinoy games by introducing kadang-kadang, patintero, hilahang-lubid, and karera ng sako. It is deemed as a unique way to foster camaraderie and friendship among DepEd Executive Committee members, DepEd sports officials, local government unit (LGU) representatives, and sports icons.

Briones, who graced the opening of Larong Pinoy, expressed her hope that indigenous games would be equally appreciated and recognized as popular sports like basketball.

In his message for this year’s national sports competition, DepEd Undersecretary and Palarong Pambansa Secretary-General Revsee Escobedo said: “I encourage everyone to take this as a chance to learn from each other and empower one another in the spirit of unity, nationalism, camaraderie, and solidarity.”

Pep rally with sports icons
In an effort to boost the spirit of discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, and sportsmanship among young Filipino athletes, DepEd, through YFD and SDO Davao City, also hosted the Sports Heroes Day.

The event featured different sports icons from participating events of Palarong Pambansa who delivered inspiring messages to student-athletes, coaches, and sports enthusiasts. In addition, the icons engaged with selected Palaro contestants in exhibition games.

The sports icons and representatives who shared their invaluable experiences with young athletes were Richard Gialogo (arnis); Elma Muros-Posadas (athletics); Janella Mae Frayna (chess); Reyland Capella (gymnastics); Czarina Mae Arevalo (tennis); Lerma Elmira Balauitan (track and field); Rubilen Amit (billiards); Jean Pierre Sabido (taekwondo); Richard Gonzales (table tennis); Jairulla Jaitulla (swimming); Donald “Dondon” Hontiveros (basketball); Paolo Lim Tancontian (judo); Delia Acuña (softball); Arnold Sarabia (baseball); Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco (boxing); Divine Wally (wushu); Gemma Silverio (wrestling), Simeon Moralla (sepak takraw); Bernard Abellana (badminton), and Ronald Pereña (pencak silat).

The activity not only served as a venue to honor the remarkable contribution of the sports icons to their respective sporting field, but also as a significant opportunity for student-athletes to have a personal interaction with them.

The sports icons also graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the regional sports heroes gallery and visited the 2019 Palaro contenders in the billeting quarters of their respective regional delegation.