December 8, 2023

After a three years of hiatus, the Palarong Pambansa is back with the athletes from the Cordillera ready to go head-to-head with the country’s best this July 29 to Aug. 5 in Marikina City.

Dubbed the Fearless Highlanders, the Department of Education-Cordillera said the athletes in the various sports disciplines are ready to take on the challenge as they are “bolder, fiercer, and stronger”.   

The DepEd central office has announced the result of the pre-national qualifying meet for team sports, where the Fearless Highlanders secured spots in basketball, softball, futsal and football.

As part of cluster 1, the Fearless Highlanders will see action in the secondary boys 5×5 and 3×3, softball secondary, futsal, and secondary football. 

The regions belonging in cluster 1 are Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and CAR.

In DepEd Memorandum 5, s. 2023 or the conduct of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa, there will be the usual division and regional meets conducted earlier to screen athletes to the national sporting event.

An additional tier called the Pre-National Qualifying Meet was also introduced “to lessen the number of delegations, shorten the duration of the event, and lower the expenses to be incurred – all without sacrificing the level of play,” the memo stated.

The level featured team sports such as baseball, basketball, football, futsal, sepak takraw, football, and volleyball.

The delegations were then clustered into four groups based on their geographical location. Cluster 2 is composed of Calabarzon, Mimaropa, NCR, and Bicol Region; Cluster 3 – Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula Region; and Cluster 4 – Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccksargen, Caraga, and Barmm.

The top two regional delegations per cluster will advance to the actual Palarong Pambansa.

The modified competition format aims to prevent the disruption of classes and to observe minimum public health and safety protocols as stated in DepEd Order 34, s. 2022, and other relevant policies and guidelines issued.

Measurable sports such as athletics, swimming, and archery adopted the qualifying distance, time, and points set by the Palarong Pambansa.

Other sports that do not apply qualifying standards in the selection of athletes and are not identified as team sports will advance directly to the Palarong Pambansa culminating competitions. – Ofelia C. Empian