ILOCANO UNITY SHOWCASED IN R1AA OPENING
Tingguians from Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte perform during the opening program of the R1AA meet at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Stadium. (Photo courtesy of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte)
LAOAG CITY — A spectacular display of world-class talents, unity, and teamwork amazed thousands of participants and visitors, as Ilocos Norte played host to this year’s Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet, which started on March 6 until March 11.
Anchored on the theme, “One Goal, One North”, the opening salvo of the biggest sporting event in the Ilocos region on Wednesday evening received a rousing applause from the audience as they were treated with mixed elements of music, dance, spoken word, and theatrics depicting the Ilocano epic, “Biag ni Lam-ang”.
This was followed by a presentation on the life and heritage of Teofilo Yldefonso, the first Southeast Asian Olympian.
Yldefonso was born in Bimmanga village, Piddig, Ilocos Norte, on November 5, 1903, and was known as “The Ilocano Shark” for introducing modern breaststroke in swimming.
Aside from Ilocos Norte’s homegrown talents, such as the multi-awarded Samiweng Singers of the Ilocos Norte National High School and dancers from the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals, more than 2,000 teachers and staff of the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte participated in the ground demonstration as they welcomed more than 10,000 delegates, guests and other stakeholders at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium.
In her welcome speech, Ilocos Norte Schools Division Superintendent Vilma Eda said the preparations for the R1AA were “a manifestation of our love not only for sports, but more importantly, for people who comprise the different delegations.”
Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba also expressed hope that the sporting event would serve as “a platform for the holistic development and well-being of young and vibrant athletes and to discover new friendship even in the midst of competition.” (PNA)