Activities in the city are already picking off where it left in March 2020 including the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) sports meet which now has a playdate – April 29 to May 1. The biggest sporting spectacle that expects around 7,000 student-athletes from the
seven provinces and lone city of Baguio will be revived at the end of this month, Department of Education – Cordillera officials reveal. DepEd – Baguio school division newly installed superintendent Soraya Faculo confirmed the dates and with Baguio as host, three years after it was supposed to host it.

“Yup,” city sports development officer Gaudencio Gonzales confirmed that the city will host anew the event which it was supposed to do in 2020 before the entire Luzon was declared under enhanced community quarantine or total lockdown on March 17 to stop spread of the then novel
coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or later called Covid-19, a week prior its start on March 24. The CARAA comes after the conclusion of the district meets late last March, although team events are not included in the trimmed down schedule, which prompted coaches of said events to lobby for its

It will also be the first time hat mayor Benjamin Magalong will host the event as mayor of the city after the cancellation in 2020, right after the Baguio Flower Festival was called off. During the Holy Week, Magalong first saw the staging of the Lucky Summer Visitors of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters after three years of absence and him hosting the seven lucky ones at his office
on Good Friday. He was at the Media Camp in April of 2019 but then as a candidate seeking the
office of the mayor.

It will be recalled that all regional meets in February 2020 were postponed as per order of DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones that prompted then regional director May Eclar to issue Regional Memo No. 40, series of 2020. In DepEd’s CARAA 2020 Facebook page, it marked March 24 then and expected to end on March 28. The CARAA board on January 31 held an emergency meeting right after Magalong declared the cancellation of the opening parade and the drum and lyre competition of the 25th season of the Panagbenga to avoid big crowds to avoid the spread of the 2019 nCoV (Covid-19).

Magalong as per the advice of the Department of Health – CAR also postponed all crowd drawing events including the CARAA originally set on Feb. 16-21 and advised that the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming be moved to another date. The PMA Alumni Association moved the homecoming on February 22, which was later canceled. Magalong actually ordered that there will be no crowd-drawing events for the next three weeks, while also saying that it is a “wait and see” for the festivity’s biggest crowd drawers, the street dancing and float parades on Feb. 29 and March 1.

Again, it was eventually cancelled. The DepEd then also postponed all scheduled events this month among which is the National School Press Conference, but the Palarong Pambansa is still slated in May, but eventually cancelled. It will be recalled also that the Heroes Mural Project was conceived in February 2020 and painting to start soon and ready for opening during the CARAA but was moved to October of that year due to the lockdown.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

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