Batang Pinoy goes the way of canceled Asiad Festival

Batang Pinoy goes the way of canceled Asiad Festival
By: June Navarro (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

THE PHILIPPINE Sports Commission rescheduled yesterday the staging of the 2013 Batang Pinoy national championships in Bacolod City a day after the Philippine Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the Asian Games Centennial Festival in Boracay.

Organizers called off both events due to the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas last Friday.

“We believe that holding the Batang Pinoy finals at this time will not be in harmony with the current situation,” PSC chair Richie Garcia told the Inquirer. “Many of our people are suffering from the calamity.”

Originally set Nov. 19 to 24, Batang Pinoy, the country’s talent discovery program for athletes 15 years and younger, will be held instead in the last week of January.

Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah earlier sought the postponement of the Asian Games festival to a later date after Boracay also bore the brunt of Yolanda.

In a letter to POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., Al-Sabah expressed his condolences for the lives lost.

The OCA, the umbrella organization of the national Olympic committees of 45 Asian countries, was supposed to hold the festival and a general assembly in Boracay from Nov. 26 to 29.

“It will be very insensitive on our part if we push through with it,” said POC first vice president Joey Romasanta, adding the OCA pledged a donation for the victims of Yolanda.

The festival will mark the 100th anniversary of the first recognized multisport games ever held in the continent—the first Far Eastern Championships, which Manila hosted in 1913.

The Far Eastern Championships eventually evolved into the Asian Games in 1951.