With the district meet and the Palarong Panlungsod played almost at the same time at the Baguio athletic bowl on top of the La Trinidad’s very own, it looks like a smooth sailing towards the resumption of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association anytime soon. It appears.
It has been three weeks since the district meet started with games held every weekend at the sports complex that is undergoing major rehabilitation works.

“It will be a four weekend district meet, then the Palarong Panlungsod to determine the athletes to see action in the CARAAA,” said city development officer Gaudencio Gonzales recently. For two weeks it was the district meet. Then last weekend, some of the games played were for the Panlungsod, observed one coach. “Those on the track running are for the Palarong Panlungsod, while those inside the field are for the district meet,” she pointed out.

But a sports official said that those playing during the weekend were actually athletes from neighboring La Trinidad, Benguet. “They just came,” said the city sports official. To make matters worse is that there is no notice yet from the Department of Education which Cordillera local government unit will host the CARAA. Baguio is expected to be host of the annual meet after its derailed hosting in 2020. After its announcement that it be host in early February 2020, it was eventually cancelled by early March when the country was declared under lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

City and DepEd officials as well as top city athletes had already made their commitment to
support the meet in 2020 and around the time the city was to celebrate the 25th staging of the Baguio Flower Festival, which was supposedly a first for then first term mayor Benjamin Magalong.
Local athletes and coaches are now expecting Baguio to host the returning CARAA in time for
the Palarong Pambansa on July 29 to August 5 with Marikina City as host.

The DepEd has earlier issued Memorandum No. 5, series of 2023 directing that all division and
regional meets to be conducted on February 6 to 10 and April 24-28 as recommended by the Palarong Pambansa Secretariat. Likewise, a clustered pre-National qualifying meets have been scheduled for team events like basketball and volleyball, among others, on July 17 to 21 to lessen the number of participants to the national meet that will also reduce expenses. Cordillera is lumped with the Ilocos, Cagayan and Region III.

The DepEd, however, said that regional offices could deviate from said schedule and hold events on a staggered basis so as not to disrupt classes, which is reason enough why the district meet is held on weekends and why the division meet is way past its last day of February 10. With no directive coming from the DepEd Cordillera, no clear host has been identified yet. And that bodes well as the city has not allocated any fund for the hosting of the regional meet. With the city winning the Batang Pinoy 2022 national over-all title in December last year, young city athletes are all eager to show their ware in the CARAA to earn spots in the national meet.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon