Hard work led to very promising wins for Southern Leyte and Maasin City athletes during the national sports competition, Palarong Pambansa 2023 with its theme, “Batang Malakas, Bansang Matatag.” “A Strong Youth, A Stable Nation.”
The 63rd Palarong Pambansa was held in Marikina Sports Center, Marikina City, Metro Manila last July 29 to August 5, 2023, where 9,172 athletes from 17 regional athletic associations participated.
Three of the Southern Leyte athletes bagged silver medals: Fritz Andreh Nohrel Gerasta in Arnis Solo Baston representing Saint Joseph College; Marc Jun “MJ” Mercedes in Shot Put category of Maasin City National High School ,and Reinjel RJ Vinas in Junior Boys Flyweight Boxing of Ichon National High School. Vinas was trained by the Maasin City Sports Council Boxing Team.
Meanwhile, three other athletes also won bronze medals. They are Sam Jordan Rodriguez, Arnis Double Baston and Franz Jacob Acasion in Table Tennis Mixed Doubles from Saint Joseph College; and Jessel Bonador in 4×100 Meter Relay of Dongon National High School.
On seperate schedules, the athletes were recognized and were also given cash incentives by their LGUs.
The teams were divided into four clusters: Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Cordillera and Administrative Region in cluster 1; CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, National Capital Region and Bicol region for cluster 2; Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula in cluster 3. Cluster 4 composed of Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN, CARAGA and BARMM.
There was a total of 34 sports events, including para sports (such as Swimming, Goalball, Bocce and Athletics), demonstrations sports (Dancesport and Pencak Silat), Exhibition Sports (Cheer dancing, Weightlifting, Esports), and the regular sports.
The national competition also featured the Indigenous Filipino traditional games, also known as “Laro ng Lahi,” such as Kadang-Kadang, Tumbang Preso and Patintero.
In all, Eastern Visayas got five gold medals, 17 silver and 15 bronze. (RCabodbod, Source: Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco)