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March 02, 2012


A few days ago last February 21-24, 2012, the town of Brooke's Point played host to a very successful staging of the MIMAROPA Regional Athletic Association Meet, the annual gathering of the best athletes from the elementary and secondary schools in the MIMAROPA Region for a few days of intense competitions, social gatherings, camaraderie and friendship, and just plain fun. As the name might give some hint, the meet was region-wide and included delegations coming from the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan as well as delegations from the cities of Calapan and Puerto Princesa. This year's theme was, "Achieving Goals, Realizing Dreams". It was a first for the municipality and was, quite frankly, a daring move. Yet,  discounting some minor misgivings, the affair was a huge success.

The national and provincial colors during the Grand Opening Parade.

The Drum and Lyre Corp of the Sacred Heart of Jesus High School, Brooke's Point, Palawan.

Brooke's Point is a bustling town about 192 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City. It is a major producer of rice and is the top producer of copra in Palawan. It is considered to be the growth center in the southern part of the province and serves as the gateway to the growth area being developed between the countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The town is also the origin of the biggest pearl ever to have been found in the world called "The Pearl of Lao-Tzu" and sometimes called "The Pearl of Allah" which was found by a local diver in Barangay Oring-oring.

The delegation from Calapan City.

The delegation from Marinduque.

Moryons came with the Marinduque delegation.

The delegation from Occidental Mindoro.

The delegation from Oriental Mindoro. 
The delegation from Palawan.

Puerto Princesa City delegation.

The delegation from Romblon.

The meet kicked off with a Grand Parade in the early morning on February 21, starting at the town plaza and ending at the municipal sports complex, where the opening ceremonies were held. Hundreds of delegates, tournament officials, political leaders, and guests gamely walked the parade route, waving and exhibiting some fancy moves, their colorful uniforms lending a festive air to the whole event. At the opening ceremonies, the keynote speaker Congressman Juan Ponce Enrile Jr, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, exhorted the delegates and everyone to get to know one's self early on in order to determine the right track to take towards the realization of one's dreams. Colorful field demonstrations were performed by selected students to the delight of the spectators.

Dr. Narciso Leoncio, the Mayor of Brooke's Point, Palawan.

Palawan Vice Governor Fems Reyes and Governor Baham Mitra greet the crowd during the parade.

Keynote speaker Congressman Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr.

Competitions started promptly after the Meet has been declared open. In the evenings, social gatherings were organized. There was a Thanksgiving Night hosted by the Palawan Provincial Government headed by Governor Abraham Mitra and Vice Governor Clara Reyes. The Municipal Tourism Office also put up a cultural show at the town plaza and showcased indigenous dances and songs brought to life by selected students from local schools.

Field demonstration by selected students from Brooke's Point Central School, Palawan.

Muslim inspired dance number from students of Brooke's Point National High School.

Students from Sacred Heart of Jesus High School looked like butterflies in their field demonstration.

The delegations were billeted at the different elementary and high school campuses around the town and were given warm welcome by the teachers and their students. They seemed to have enjoyed their stay. Many delegates took time to visit the town's tourist spots, some even extending their stay in Brooke's Point. Hotels and lodging houses were fully booked at the height of the games and local businesses took advantage of brisk sales that extended even a few days after the games have ended.

A male athlete handily clears the bar in the pole vault event.
Swimmers participate in the Friendship Parade towards the end of the games.

Taekwando athletes big and small join the friendship parade.

At the end of the competitions, Palawan was declared Champion with a total of 846.5 points while Puerto Princesa City was in second place with a total of 704 points. Oriental Mindoro came in third place with a total 248.32 points. Delegations coming from Calapan, Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, and Marinduque were declared fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh place winners respectively.


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