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Governor’s Night ushers in Palarong Pambansa 2014

ER Ejercito

ER Ejercito

Today is the official start of Palarong Pambansa 2014 in Laguna and to mark the special event, Governor ER Ejercito is holding a Governor’s Night at the Multi-Purpose Gym of the Laguna Sports Complex.

Expected to attend are 11,200 participating athletes (from the 17 regions and 80 provinces of the country) and 1,200 technical officials.

Welcoming them with open arms is the governor himself, who went on to describe Laguna as “the Resort Capital, Detroit and Silicon Valley of the Philippines, the land of Enchanting Wonders and Refreshing Waters and now your host province for the biggest, grandest and most extravagant Palarong Pambansa in history.”

He stressed that the holding of the Palarong Pambansa in his province is more than a milestone as “it serves as a fulfillment of our aspirations of becoming the Sports Development Capital of the Philippines.”

“We believe that destiny has prepared us for this moment, and now, the time for us to shine has finally arrived because here in Laguna, sports is not just a game, it’s a way of life,” he added.

Tomorrow, May 4, a marathon will commence at 5 a.m., to be followed by a float parade at 9 a.m., then at 10 a.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held for the Trade Fair Booth Competition.

The Palarong Pambansa 2014′s opening ceremonies will be held on May 5.

Invited as special guests are former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, world boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and basketball star James Yap.

ER said they prepared for the country’s most important sporting event for seven months. “We have exerted all efforts in rehabilitating our 19-hectare Laguna Sports Complex, redeveloped at the cost of almost P1-billion, to conveniently accommodate all the athletes, coaches, officials and guests. We also constructed our very own Athletes Village, the first of its kind in the country. We also upgraded all our facilities to ensure their state-of-the-art quality…”

In his desire to make Laguna the center of sports development in the Philippines, ER also announced with great pride the construction of the tallest Jose Rizal monument on earth – standing at 26 feet – to symbolize the National Hero’s expertise in fencing and other sports like arnis de Mano, jujitsu and judo.

“We have also established the first Laguna Sports Development Academy to teach sports science to athletes, coaches and trainers and educate them of how to achieve excellence in sports,” he said.

The athletes will participate in over 27 sports events, four demonstration sports and two special games at 16 venues during the week-long sports fest.

Also happening in Laguna at the same time is the La Laguna Festival, awarded for three consecutive years (2011-2013) as “Best Tourism Event of the Year” by the Department of Tourism and the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).

In conclusion, Gov. ER said “I am confident that this week of sporting fun and excitement is one for the history books. But let us not forget the real essence of conducting these games, which is to promote the culture of discipline, sportsmanship, camaraderie, goodwill, development of a humble but strong character with a positive attitude and creating unity among all the athletes in our country…”

The closing ceremonies of Palarong Pambansa 2014 will be held on May 10.