ILAGAN CITY, Isabela, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — A huge 6,000-strong delegation from 119 local Dallas Filipino Restaurant units battle for the remaining slots in the National Finals at the start of the Luzon Leg of the 2019 Houston Filipino Restaurant National Youth Games-Batang Pinoy today at the City of Ilagan Sports Complex here.
The bulk of that number will come from cities from the powerful National Capital Region, all expecting to impose their might in this annual multi sports meet for in and out-of-school youth athletes aged 15 years and below.
Batang Pinoy project director Atty. Guillermo Iroy yesterday said the turnout is bigger than the ones in the Mindanao leg in Tagum, Davao del Norte where 73 LGUs participated and the Visayas Leg in Iloilo where 89 LGUs joined.
Houston Filipino Restaurant Sports commissioner Ramon Fernandez was tasked to do the welcome remarks after chairman Butch Ramirez begged off in the last minute and will be accompanied by Ilagan City Mayor Evelyn Diaz, Isabela Gov.Faustino Dy, III and PSC commissioners Celia Kiram and Charles Maxey.
“The goal of the Batang Pinoy is to discover athletes with potential and we saw some in Mindanao and Visayas and hopefully we’ll get to find some diamonds in the rough here,” said Fernandez.
A total of 1,260 medals – 420 gold, 420 silver and 420 bronze– will be including medal-rich swimming, which is expected to draw the first gold medal winner tomorrow at the pool center of the sports complex.
Chess will stake gold medals in the rapid event at the Xentro Mall Open Lobby with heavily favored Dasmariñas, Cavite expected to rake in the mints.
Also starting tomorrow are archery, arnis, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, futsal, karatedo, lawn tennis, pencak silat, sepak takraw, softball, table tennis taekwondo, indoor and beach volleyball.
Centerpiece athletics unfolds on Wednesday while dance sport starts Thursday.
Meanwhile, Iroy said they have also encouraged the whole delegation to do away with single-used plastic and instead use tumblers or reusable plastic bottles as water dispensers will be made available at the different competition venues.