Updated 14:50 PM PHT Wed, April 19, 2017
(CNN Philippines, April 19) — Around 10,000 student-athletes and sports officials will attend the Palarong Pambansa in Antique on Sunday.
Athletes from 18 regions will prove their mettle in 22 sporting events including ball games, boardgames, taekwondo, swimming, arnis, archery, and badminton, from April 23 to 29.
This year's Palaro also features demo sports pencak silat and dancesport, and a demo event of aero gymnastics.
With the theme "Converges Youth Power, Builds Sustainable Future", the Palarong Pambansa will showcase Philippine sports' "cream of the crop".
It will also introduce the administration's sports development programs to counter drugs and crimes.
"We are underlining the youth empowerment in this edition of Palarong Pambansa, highlighting self-discipline, teamwork and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry," Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said.
The Department of Education and the province of Antique formalized the event hosting last month.
Formerly known as the Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games, or BPISAA, the Palarong Pambansa was first held in Manila in 1948 under Republic Act No. 10588.
Athletes prepared for competition
Representing the host region is 12-year-old Aklanon swimmer Kyla Soguilon, who won the Philippine Sportwriters Association's Junior Athlete of the Year Award thrice in a row.
Soguilon was also hailed Milo Junior Athlete of the Year.
The 12-year old student-athlete also won four gold and two silver medals in last year's Palarong Pambansa, and bagged the Most Outstanding Swimmer and Most Bemedalled Athlete awards.
Ilonggo taekwondo jins are also intensifying their preparations for the competition.
A total of 17 taekwondo players from Iloilo went under rigid training and stamina endurance test to achieve proper fitness weeks before the actual tournament.
Coach Denmark Pinggol said they are excited to compete in Palaro, given that they are the host region which means homecourt advantage on their part.
"We are looking forward to pull off many gold medals during the week-long events. We prepared our jins for this event and we trust their performance and hopefully, compete well against powerhouse teams from other regions of the country," Pinggol added.