TAGUM CITY- After a week of thrilling competitions, the 2015 Palarong Pambansa concluded with a display of hundreds of colorful dancers joined by ecstatic athletes on the field at Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex simultaneous with an array of glittering fireworks illuminating the Tagum City skies amid loud cheers of thousands of audience in attendance. Region 4A’s Team CALABARZON took part in the boisterous celebration after having successfully secured its second place overall finish with 51 golds, 41 silvers and 49 bronzes for a total of 141, improving its 38-gold-medal finish at last year’s palaro on its own turf in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

The combined forces of Team CALABARZON’s elementary and secondary swimmers led the gold medal haul with 12, five of which were record-breaking performances. Athletics also delivered with 6 golds, closely trailed by badminton, arnis and chess producing 5 golds apiece. Consequently, both elementary and secondary levels of R-4A placed second overall.

Team CALABARZON’s special sports athletes also finished second overall with 12 golds to Western Visayas Region’s 13. The Red and White team also bagged special awards including first runner-up Most Disciplined delegation, 3rd place Cleanest, Greenest and Eco-friendliest delegation as well as 3rd Best Billeting School awarded to Jose Rizal Elementary School 1. The awards were received by DepEd R-4A Assistant Regional Director Beatriz G. Torno and Pacita Q. Lungcay, Regional Office Education Supervisor and Team Managers’ Chairman on behalf of Regional Director Diosdado M. San Antonio.

The formidable National Capital Region once again reigned supreme finishing on top of the medal tally with 98 golds, 67 silvers and 71 bronzes.  Western Visayas Region came in a close third with 42 golds, 48 silvers and 41 bronzes. The top three regions this year were also the top finishers last summer in Laguna, in the same ranking.

Prominent luminaries present during the closing ceremonies were Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo P.  Del Rosario, his son Congressman Anthony G. Del Rosario of Davao del Norte’s 1st District, 2nd District Congressman Antonio F. Lagdameo, Jr. and Tagum City Mayor Allan A. Rellon.

DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legal & Legislative Affairs Atty. Tonisito M.C. Umali delivered, on behalf of Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC who missed the ceremonies, the latter’s message of gratitude and congratulations to the hosts.  In his message, Sec. Luistro lauded the efforts of local LGU officials describing the facilities at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex as ‘world class’ and proclaiming the 2015 Palaro in Tagum City as the ‘Best Palaro Ever’ to the delight of the jubilant local crowd.

(by:  Ariel M. Azuelo, Administrative Officer 5 and Regional Information Officer of DepEd CALABARZON)