BAGUIO CITY -- Home sweet home for host Baguio City.
Baguio struck hardest in the martial arts sports of wushu, taekwondo, judo and wrestling to capture the overall championship in the Batang Pinoy for the second straight year.
Flashing the same indomitable spirit that enabled them to cope with the onslaught of super typhoon Ompong only last week, the Baguio City bets bagged 13 gold medals in wushu, 10 golds in taekwondo and eight golds each in judo and wrestling to raise their total haul to 46 gold, 46 silver and 57 bronze medals.
That’s enough to keep both Quezon City and Cebu City at bay in the overall medal standings and assure themselves of the P3 million worth of incentives from the organizing Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
The other Baguio City athletes who delivered came from archery (2), athletics (2), karate (1), swimming (1) and triathlon (1).
The battle for second place, however, remains a toss up between Quezon City and Cebu City.
Quezon City has 21 golds, including 10 in swimming, four in wrestling and three in taekwondo.
They also had 12 silver and 49 bronzes.
A close third is Cebu City with 20 golds, 25 silvers and 28 bronzes.
Laguna Province is fourth with 20-8-20 and Cebu Province is fifth with 16-9-15.
Aside from the P3 million worth of incentives to the champion, the PSC will also give P2.5m to the runner-up, P2m to the third placer, P1.5m to the fourth and P1m to the fifth.
The week-long tournament, which was nearly scrapped due to the devastating typhoon which hit this city and the rest of Northern Luzon, is part of PSC’s grassroots development program aimed at discovering potential members of the national team.
Baguio City crowned itself as the overall champion the 2016 Batang Pinoy held in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte where it also pocketed P500,000
Meanwhile, the PSC, headed by Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, expressed his gratitude to all the participants and officials of the Batang Pinoy competitions.
“As we come to the final day of the annual youth games or Batang Pinoy 2018, in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong and the calamity that befell a number of our brethren in Baguio and Benguet, the PSC would like to thank the people of Baguio and Benguet led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan of Baguio and Governor Cresencio Pacalso of Benguet for helping us deliver a successful Batang Pinoy National Championships. You have our respect and admiration,” said Ramirez.