IN MY EYES: Shattering the records

The Palarong Pambansa is over, fellas.

But the hangover is still here.

Whether we like it or not, the Palaro is one of the greatest things that ever happened in Ilocos Sur.

“It’s an experience of a lifetime,” said Mang Sippi who regularly watched the basketball games there at the San Juan (Ilocos Sur) gym where NCR emerged champion. “I muse they they had a couple of 7 footers. I can’t believe there are high school students as tall as those guys. They others also played like little professionals.”

Carmona, a retired government employee never missed the gymnastics competitions there in Sta. Maria where the contestants, she said, were “incredibly agile, elastic and airborne.”

Victoria, a table tennister from Sto. Domingo was amazed of one Kheith Rhynne Cruz of the National Capital Region.

“She played as if she comes from another planet. She is incredibly amazing!” she exclaimed.

Cruz led NCR to win 9 of the 11 gold medals at stake.

These and other incredible stories by an amazed province mesmerized the people no end during the weeklong Palarong Pambansa.

Thanks, to Governor Ryan Luis Singson who did everything he could to bring the Palaro to Ilocos Sur. He continues to amaze us, first, by spearheading the bicentennial celebration of the founding of the province through Kannawidan Festival 2018. And then, here came Palarong Pambansa.

What’s next in your bag of tricks, Gov?

For the record, 17 records were broken in the 2018 Palaro as compared to 21 in Antique last year. That’s a total of 38 shattered records in a span of 2 years with NCR asserting its supremacy in swimming, gymnastics and table tennis.

Palaro records were shattered one by one, fellas.

NCR set a new record in the 200-meter medley relay for secondary girls with a 2:03.49 mark. The NCR team also set new records in the 400-meter individual medley relay and 400-meter medley relay, both for secondary girls.

Samantha Therese Coronel, also from NCR, broke the record of Nicole Meah Pamintuan, clocking 1:06.58 in the 100-meter backstroke for secondary girls. Also from NCR, Thanya Angelyn Dela Cruz (200-meter breaststroke for secondary girls), Mark Jiron Rotoni (200-meter breaststroke for secondary boys), Michaela Jasmine Mojdeh (individual medley for elementary girls) and Philip Joaquin Santos (individual medley for secondary boys) and Cagayan Valley’s Jalil Sephraim Taguinod set new marks (50-meter breaststroke for secondary boys).

Meanwhile, Kasandra Alcantara, still from NCR, set a new record in shot put for secondary girls with her 11.88-meter throw, breaking the 26-year-old mark set by Marites Barrios in 1992. Alcantara, who returned to Palaro after 2 years, did not show any sign of slowing down as she joined the NCR tankers in hauling precious golds for the Stalwarts. Jamela De Asis of Western Visayas also joined Alcantra in breaking Barrios’ record of 11.20 meters with her 11.29-meter throw.

The record in the 400-meter run in secondary girls was also shattered as Jessel Lumapas of Southern Tagalog clocked 56.28 seconds to eclipse Jenny Rose Rosales’ mark of 57.33 seconds in 2011.

Ann Katherine Quitoy of Bacolod City posted a new mark in the javelin throw with her 45.72 throw, almost 3 meters better than Sylvian Faith Abunda’s mark in 2017.

Two athletes, Ed Deliña and Jhon Rafael Lamatan, broke the 13-year-old record of 41.62 meters in discus throw for secondary boys by setting 42.67 and 41.68 marks respectively. Western Visayas’ Avegail Beliran set a new record in javelin throw for elementary girls with 41.46 meters, overcoming the 40.63 meters set by Gia Bucag in 2010.

Jumpers Kent Brian Celeste of Ilocos and Ernie Calipay of NCR broke the 1.95-meter mark set by Clifford John Bonjoc in high jump for secondary boys as Celeste leaped 1.99 meters. Calipay jumped 1.96m. Western Visayas’ Trixie Jane Willy and Southern Tagalog’s Eliza Cuyom set new records in the 100-meter hurdles for elementary and secondary girls respectively. Willy broke Jesus Ampunan’s record of 16.4 seconds with a 16.3-second clocking, while Cuyom posted 14.5 seconds to surpass the 22-year-old record of 14.9 seconds set by Michelle Patasaha.

You can’t help but admire the Filipino athlete. And what else, fellas?

Ilocos Sur also provided the following to the 15,000 athletes, coaches and technical officials: individual sleeping foam, blanket and pillow which they brought home by as tokens from the province; well-prepared classrooms as home away from home; free guided tours to showcase the beauty and unique features of the province; free hotel accommodation for DepEd and LGU VIPs and transport of all Visayas and Mindanao delegates from the airport and pier by Partas Buses to Ilocos Sur and back. Delegates, likewise, were also entertained by the dancing fountain and through skydiving, hot-air balloon show, fireworks display, and singers in the like of Kuh Ledesma, Bituin Escalante and Angeline Quinto.

These things are also record-shattering.

“How I wish our province will host again the Palaro in the near or distant future,” says Mang Maing.

How I wish also, fellas, but this time, our wishes are still upon the stars.

Maybe, maybe sometime again.

Encore, Governor Ryan?