THE BATANG Pinoy, a multi-sports event for Filipino athletes aged 15 years old and below that produced Tokyo Olympic gold winner Hidilyn Diaz and world champion gymnast Caloy Yulo, will make a much-awaited comeback after a three-year pandemic hiatus from Dec. 17 to 22 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chair Noli Eala and host Ilocos Sur Gov. Jerry Singson made this official via the memorandum of agreement signing yesterday at the sports-funding agency’s Malate, Manila building.
“The 2022 Batang Pinoy National Championship is actually going to be the first major PSC-organized competition under my watch and that is why I am very honored to do it in the Province of Ilocos Sur from where the Ealas come from” said Mr. Eala.
Mr. Singson, for his part, said they are more than prepared to host the games last held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan in 2019.
“It is our honor and pride to host the Batang Pinoy 2022 in the heritage province of Ilocos Sur and we’re very confident we can host it successfully because we have the experience to host big events like this,” said Mr. Singson, whose province staged the Palarong Pambansa in 2019 and the Batang Pinoy Northern Luzon Leg two years before.
The meet was originally set Dec. 4 to 10 but the PSC and Ilocos Sur agreed to reschedule following the request of the Department of Education to do so.
Also present during the ceremonial signing were PSC Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr., Ilocos Sur Executive Assistant Atty. Jannah Singson, Provincial Administrator Marlon Tagorda, Special Assistant to the Governor in Sports Jester Singson and PSC Regional Coordinator Edwin Llanes.
Mr. Eala said they expect around 7,000 athletes from 81 provinces and 144 cities and municipalities nationwide who will battle for around 2,000 medals — 600 gold, 600 silver and 795 bronzes — from 17 online and face-to-face events.
The face-to-face disciplines that will be staged in Vigan are archery, athletics, badminton, chess, cycling, table tennis, swimming, weightlifting and obstacle course racing (demonstration sport) while arnis, dancesport, judo, karate, muay thay, pencak silat, taekwondo and wushu will be held online. — Joey Villar