Safety of Cebuano delegates to Batang Pinoy Nationals in Baguio ensured
CEBUANO young athletes who are scheduled to compete in the weeklong Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Batang Pinoy National Finals 2018 were kept safe as Super Typhoon “Ompong” barreled through North Luzon putting Benguet province, particularly host city, Baguio, under signal number three yesterday.
The full strength of Ompong was felt from 1 a.m. until 3 p.m. yesterday.
Strong howling winds were felt in the entire city while heavy rains created zero visibility in the city’s thoroughfares.
The Cebu City delegation did not risk climbing to Baguio City and decided to stay at the Philippine Sports Arena in Metro Manila and will wait for typhoon Ompong to leave the country before proceeding to Baguio City.
Unlike Cebu City, Cebu Province delegates went to Baguio City, two days before typhoon Ompong wreaked havoc in North Luzon, just in time to entrenched themselves at the safest place in the city according to Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC) executive director Atty. Ramil P. Abing, who is with the entire delegation.
Cebu Province is currently billeted at the Doña Josefa Cariño Elementary School located just at the back of the Baguio City Hall.
From Sept. 15, the multisporting meet featuring under-15 athletes, has been moved to Sept. 17, canceling the event’s opening ceremonies to prepare for the super typhoon.
The city government of Baguio provided the Cebu Province delegation packed meals and relief goods as the typhoon continued to ravage North Luzon yesterday.
According to Abing, they already briefed the entire Cebu Province delegation before the typhoon made its presence felt in the city.
“We told the athletes and the coaches to stay inside their rooms and we told them to expect heavy rains and strong winds. We also told them that if there are any problems that will occur during the typhoon, they should approach us immediately for assistance,” said Abing.
He praised Baguio City’s disaster risk reduction agency for helping them out in their billeting quarters.
Abing’s main concern though is that if the playing venues will be playable in time for the competition proper on Monday.
He said that with the strength of typhoon Ompong, he expects that some playing venues will be damaged and some would need to be cleaned before the competition commences wherein around 7,000 athletes from more than a hundred local government units will vie in the week-long meet.
He is also wary of Cebu Province athletes’ performances because they have not engaged in any physical activity since they arrived in Baguio City last Thursday.
The Sisters of Mary School (SMS) Boystown tracksters headed by one of their athletic coach, Mark Allan Cantal, said that they prayed the rosary last Friday evening for safety.
They were also instructed not to go out of their billeting quarters for precautionary measures.
“We locked ourselves in our room to be safe from the typhoon. We did not really feel its power because we were inside the room but we can hear the winds howling outside our room so we just prayed,” said Cantal.
“We felt safe because our room was strong enough to withstand the power of the typhoon but we are kind of worried because we have not stretched neither had warm ups in the past two days because of the typhoon.”
Cantal added that after the 23rd Milo Little Olympics Visayas Regional Finals in Cebu where the SMS Boystown placed fifth overall in the secondary division, they immediately resumed their training and let their athletes use high-elevation masks so they would get used to Baguio’s high-elevation terrain in time for their respective competitions.
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