BAGUIO CITY--The best young athletes from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao begin their hunt for the gold medals in the 2018 Batang Pinoy National Finals, which kick off today (Monday) in Baguio City and Benguet Province.
An annual undertaking of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the week-long competition begins in earnest in 30 different sports in various venues around the city exactly two days after its scheduled grand opening ceremony was cancelled due to the onslaught of typhoon Ompong.
Host Baguio City is seeking to win the overall championship, but Cebu City, Cebu Province, Pangasinan, Laguna and Mandaluyong are expected to pose a threat.
The national finals in 10 sports -- cycling (mountain bike and road), duathlon, futsal, gymnastics, judo, muay thai, triathlon, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu -- will be competed.
Qualifying games will also be held in archery, arnis, athletics, baseball, basketball (boys and girls), boxing, chess, dancesports, karatedo, pencak silat, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball (boys and girls) at beach volleyball.
After being stranded for a few days at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and Philsports Complex in Pasig due to the typhoon, cmost of the athletes and officials have started to travel to Baguio in ctime for their scheduled events.
Based on the data provided by the Batang Pinoy Secretariat now in Baguio as of Sept. 14, a total of 36 local government units and 1,127 athletes from Luzon, 26 LGUs and 516 athletes from the Visayas and 26 LGUs and 572 athletes from Mindanao have already registered.
In all, a total of 88 LGUs and 2, 715 participants are already in Baguio City.
PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said they have decided to forego the opening ceremonies rue to the but promised a “grand closing celebration”.
The two officials have also assured participants and officials that all measures have been taken to ensure their safety.
“We will also keep the public updated through our social media pages as well as our website,” said Ramirez, who earlier stated that this event will maximize use of technology in disseminating information to the public. A hotline to answer questions regarding Batang Pinoy was also put in place in light of concerns due to the effects of the storm.
Batang Pinoy Program Director and PSC Deputy Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy is leading the efforts to ensure the success of the competition despite the effects of the typhoon.
Iroy also said an updated general competition schedule has already been released to guide team officials and parents on planning their team’s logistics and travel.