63rd Palarong Pambansa Opens Parade with BARMM in Marikina City amidst Pouring Rain

Elementary and high school athletes from BARMM to compete in 46 sporting events in the 63rd Palarong Pambansa 2023

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By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — Scitech and Digital News

(SDN) –– And so the 63rd Palarong Pambansa 2023 edition opened today, July 31, with a parade amidst an inclement weather, with rain pouring and drenching thousands of athletes, coaches, and officials representing the country’s 17 regions.

A 300-strong delegation (earlier reported as 400 members) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has joined the Palarong Pambansa or National Games. BARMM student-athletes in the sporting spectacle are winners of the BARMM Athletic Association (BARMMA) Regional Meet last May.

Related: 282 BARMM Athletes Compete in Palarong Pambansa 2023 in Marikina, Host City

At the head of the Bangsamoro contingent is the chief of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal.

BARMM Education Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal with MBHTE Director General for Basic Education Abdullah P. Salik, Jr. Behind Iqbal is BARMM-MBHTE Assistant Secretary Atty. Sittie Mariam Balahim (partially covered). MBHTE Staff Santhalia ‘Mot’ Abdullah contributed this image she took at the Marikina Sports Center (MSC).

The Palaro is led by the Department of Education (DepEd) headed by Vice President Inday Sara Duterte, concurrent Secretary of Education .

In late afternoon of the Opening Ceremonies, after the rain-drenched parade, Duterte arrived followed shortly by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

Recall that the Palaro was forced on a three-hiatus — 2020, 2021, 2022 — brought on by the coronavirus pandemic that hit the globe in December 2019, killing millions of people.

Images: SDN — SciTech and Digital News

This year the Palaro runs on a theme dubbed “Batang Malakas, Bansang Matatag” (A Strong Kid, A Stable Nation).

SDN — SciTech and Digital News saw Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro in the parade, holding an umbrella, as he stopped to speak with some participants of the street spectacle, obliging for a selfie.

Marcelino ‘Marcy’ Teodoro, mayor of Palaro host Marikina City holding an umbrella. (Photo: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

Earlier, Teodoro put the number of athletes, coaches, and officials from the 17 regions of the country at around 9.172 who will compete in 34 sports disciplines. Competition includes athletes from the differently abled persons.

In a related development, the 2023 Palaro will revive traditional games called the “Larong Lahi” that features “Kadang-Kadang”, “Tumbang Preso”, and “Patintero” as exhibition events aimed at preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of the country.

Exhibition sports of the sporting event that runs from July 29 to August 6, include Para Games such as weightlifting and obstacle course. Demonstration sports in the Palaro are dance, pencak silat, and esports.

The BARMM athletes will compete in 46 events. Cash rewards await gold medal winners among the Bangsamoro elementary and high school students.

For the hosting of the Palaro, DepEd partnered with the Marikina local government unit (LGU).

The Department of Education (DepEd) said it organized the Palaro and was first held in 1948. It’s “an annual multi-sport event involving student-athletes from 17 regions of the Philippines”.

Palaro’s objectives, per DepEd, cover the:

  • Promotion of Physical Education and sports as an integral part of the Basic Education curriculum for holistic development of the youth;
  • Inculcating of the spirit of discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, sportsmanship, and other values inherent in sports;
  • Promotion and achieving peace by through of sports;
  • Widening the base for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure of elementary pupils and secondary students to serve as a feeder to the National Sports Association (NSA) for international competitions; and
  • Providing a database for a valid and universal basis to further improve the school sports development programs. (✓)



63rd Palarong Pambansa Facebook page, DepEd



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