Despite the chaos at the Baguio athletic bowl brought by constructions, the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) meet rolled on with another predictable outcome – Baguio lording it over. But it was Apayao that became as a surprise as the region’s “Last
Frontier” put on a performance including domination on the first day last April 29. But it settled for a distant second to leap frog perennial bridesmaid Benguet which settled for third place over-all
when the games concluded last May 1.

“Nairaos din (we were able to finish it),” said a relieved mayor Benjamin Magalong, who with administrator Bonifacio de la Pena earlier expressed apprehension of hosting the meet staged at the
seven hectare sports complex due to the construction that now includes the PhP10 million gate.
It is no surprise that the host once again had the lion share of medals by winning 211 of the available 352 gold mints or 60 percent.

The city also took home 119 silver and 54 bronze medals. Of these, the elementary athletes accounted for 67-35-17 gold-silver-bronze haul, while their senior counterparts had a 144-84-37 output. Apayao amazingly went home with a treasure load with 52-54-86 on the 27-25-38 haul of the elementary squads, while the high school students accounted for 25-29-48, while Benguet limped home with 37- 60-62 on an 18-28-21 and 19-32- 41 sharing. Baguio relied anew on its swimming, arnis, athletics, taekwondo and archery athletes as they dominated the events.

The swimmers alone accounted for 67 of the city’s 211 gold tally with the secondary olds sweeping the event with 19 of 19 golds, the boys secondary were the top earners with 21 mints, while the elementary girls swam to 15 golds and their male counterparts were the least productive with a “measly” 15. The Baguio tracksters were equally productive with 38 gold medals to show with the older boys leading the way with 15, the older girls have 11, while the elementary girls came in with seven and five for the males. In taekwondo, 31 mints were earned with the secondary boys leading with 13, their female counterparts chipped in 11, while the elementary boys and girls added fur and three, respectively.

Arnis was also a lucrative gold mine with 29 mints, with the secondary girls earning 10, the elementary girls and secondary boys with similar seven and the younger boys bringing home five. The archers were also productive with eight and seven gold medals from the high school boys and girls. Chass Maiven Colas of the Baguio City National High School were responsible for the seven of the boys output as he ruled the 30 meters, 60 meters, 70 meters, 1440 round, Olympic round and
anchored the team and mixed match play. Jemuelle James Espiritu took the eighth medal for the host by ruling the 50 meter event.

He joined Colas and Alon Yuan Jucutan in ruling the team event, while Jarraine Caerelle Lictao was the other half of the mixed match play. Lictao earned a total of six gold medals with wins in the 30 meter, 50 meter, 60 meter, 1440 round and Olympic round.  Elementary swimmer Arthur Zulueta matched the production of Colas with his own seven mints. Arnisador Mark Alexis Martin had five gold medals. Baguio dominated the para-games by winning six of the eight gold medals at stake. It also came home with a silver medal, while Mountain Province made two gold medals and Benguet with three silvers and three bronze medals.

Kinsley Artemio was the only multi-gold medalist after winning the 100 meter and shot put low vision events. Mountain Province finished fourth with 15-36-41 and nipped Tabuk City which
went home with 15-24-56. Ifugao comes next with 12-20- 42, while Abra edged Kalinga with a 5-22-52 haul for seventh place, while the latter wound up last with a 5-17-36 tally. Baguio was supposed to host the 2020 CARAA but was cancelled when the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine in March 17, 2020.

Last year, the city has implemented major renovation within the seven hectare sports complex including the PhP380 million youth convergence sports complex, the PhP105
million tennis court, the PhP30 million athletes quarters and now the PhP10 million gate and façade that will include the demolition of the small grandstand or bandstand adjacent to the ongoing tennis court construction.  It was also during the pandemic that the PhP45 million big grandstand extension aside from the lighting installations were made. The conduct of district, division meets as well as regional meets and eventually the Palarong Pambansa resumed after face to face classes was allowed last year.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon