Student-athletes from Western Visayas bagged a total of 38 gold, 29 silver and 40 bronze medals in the 60th edition of the Palarong Pambansa.
The host region finished third place in the final and official medal tally of the biggest sporting event in the country, which ran from April 23 to 29 in the province of Antique.
Last year, WV also placed third with 35-35-39 medal haul.
The National Capital Region defended its championship title. It was declared overall champion this year with 98 golds, 66 silvers and 45 bronzes.
Calabarzon came in second with a 41-57-57 medal tally.
The Negros Island Region ranked fourth with 26 golds, 27 silvers and 36 bronzes. It was the second time that NIR competed in Palaro.
The newly-created region, composed of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, was followed by Soccsksargen with 26 golds, 22 silvers and 35 bronzes.
WV’s first gold medalist
An Ilonggo athlete gave WV its first gold medal in this year’s Palaro.
James Lozañes of Carles, Iloilo won the secondary boys’ javelin throw at 59.46 meters on the first day of Palaro.
The Grade 11 student from Estancia National High School also set a new mark after wiping out the record set by Bryan Pacheco of Central Luzon (57.81m) in 2013.
Lozañes, a Yolanda survivor, was among the athletes who showed record-breaking performances.
All in all, 21 records – 6 in swimming and 16 in athletics – were broken in different events during this year’s Palaro.
Iloilo beauty wins gold
A 16-year-old aspiring Miss Universe title holder snatched the secondary girls’ high jump gold medal.
Alexie Mae Caimoso of Leon, Iloilo posted a leap of 1.63 meters. She defeated the record holder from Cagayan Valley by 0.03 meter.
Aside from being a sports enthusiast, Caimoso is also passionate about joining pageants.
According to her, she was proclaimed Mutya ng Buga 2013 and Ms. Leon 2016 first runner-up. She also became a finalist in Ms. Teen Iloilo.
“One of my dreams is to be crowned Miss Universe,” Caimoso said.
Triplets harvest golds
Triplets from Iloilo City also captured Palaro gold medals.
John Christian, John Clark and John Carl Segutier, students of Iloilo National High School, emerged winners in arnis competition (secondary).
They were born and live in Barangay Calumpang, Molo distict.
The triplets are hoping to be part of the Philippine delegation to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2019.
Other gold medalists from Iloilo are Mary Rose Leones (high jump), Sharlanne Gonzales (long jump) Malou Davasol (javelin throw) and Edna Magtubo (1,500-meter run and 400-meter run).
Palaro winners to receive cash incentives
All gold, silver and bronze medalists from Iloilo will receive cash incentives from the Provincial Government.
Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said gold medalists will take home P7,000; silver medalists, P5,000; and bronze medalists, P3,000.
ongressman Raul Tupas will also provide cash incentives to Palaro winners from the 5th District of the province.
Iloilo’s Calam-an shines in basketball
Ilonggo Ryan Calam-an stood out in Palaro’s secondary boys’ basketball event.
Though his team did not grab the championship title, they were still happy and proud to make it to the semifinals.
NCR dominated the event after defeating WV in the battle for gold, 75-48.
Calam-an showed an impressive performance during the tournament.
The 6-foot-4 forward is a native of Leon. IMT