Palarong Pambansa athletes from Zamboanga Peninsula attend graduation rites in Vigan City

VIGAN CITY ­­­– The first finishers of the K-12 DepEd program from Zamboanga Peninsula who are in this city as athletes of the Palarong Pambansa 2018 had their graduation rites in this city on April 7, said Editha Bagcal, principal of Vigan Central School where they are billeted.

These 19 senior high school students joined 49 junior high and 146 elementary students from their region in a fitting ceremony courtesy of the local government unit of this city led by Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina, and the DepEd Vigan City Division.

“We have to prepare for this most treasured moment of the students so we are uniting all our forces to make it most memorable for them,” said Bagcal in an interview prior to the ceremony. “Teachers will act as parents of the graduates, and gifts will be handed them so they will feel the warmth of being loved during the most cherished event in their academic life.”

Bagcal said that all the graduation clothes and toga of the athletes were taken cared of to ensure that each of the graduating athletes marched in proper attire in this New 7 Wonders City of the World.

They are among the 700-strong delegation of Region IX who arrived on Good Friday, March 30, in this city to prevent untoward incidents of arriving late for the games, giving them enough time to adopt to the weather, and environment of the province.

Since March 31 they have been training rigidly in various venues in the city which are near the school where they are billeted.

Their lawn tennis Coach Edward Caductoc said that they are the defending champion in secondary boys single and double so he is thankful that the Vigan tennis club court is just a walking distance from the school they are staying. He appreciates how welcoming the teachers and staff of the Vigan school, and the heritage preserved in the city.

In the 2016 national games Region IX got two golds in 100-meter and 200-meter dash for elementary boys, according to the Palarong Pambansa website.

Zamboanga Peninsula is a long, semicircular peninsula of western Mindanao, extending southwest to Sulu Archipelago and Borneo.  It has an area of roughly 5,600 square miles (14,500 square km). It is bordered on the north and west by the Sulu Sea and on the south by the Moro Gulf.  Here one can find Dipolog, an interisland port, commercial-fishing centre served by an airport and coastal roads. The port of Dapitan, a city just northeast of Dipolog, was the place of exile from 1892 to 1896 for the Filipino national hero José Rizal and the site of Rizal National Park, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.

It has three provinces, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay. It has five cities, 67 municipalities and 1, 904 barangays, according to the Philippine Statics Authority. (Imelda C. Rivero/ICR/PIA1 Ilocos Sur)