BAGUIO CITY –It’s a job well done!
This was the combined shout of sports runners and other sports enthusiast as well as public officials as the Baguio Athletic Bowl rubberized track was finally unveiled to the public January 29, with top city and Education and Public works officials leading the opening.
After dawn, an Igorot ritual was conducted to escort good fortune for the track oval. The inauguration then proceed with Catholic blessings as well as the first run on the oval – a 5,000 meter run participated in by 120 runners from a broad spectrum of sports enthusiasts in this mountain resort city.
The enthusiasm for the rubberized track comes as the city is about to host the regional DepEd sponsored meet, the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA), which opens on February 6.
“It’s a job well done,” enthused Department of Public Works and Highways-CAR (DPWH-CAR) Director Danilo Dequito as he congratulated main contractor RUA Construction and tartan track installer Spurway Enterprises. Dequito gave special mention to Baguio Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping Jr. for working for the allocation of funds from the national government to finance the rehabilitation of the Athletic Bowl.
“This is just the second phase of the entire project,” Dequito said, adding that more government allocations will be forthcoming to complete the renovation of the 70 year old sports complex of the city.
“It’s a dream come true!” Rep. Aliping cried saying that the first two phases of the work has already improved the condition of the then dilapidated Athletic Bowl. He also thanked the DPWH-CAR for constructing a world-class sports facility in time for the CARAA.
“We also have to thank Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, for facilitating the release of funds for this very vital piece of infrastructure,” Rep. Aliping added.
“This is a product of unity and cooperation among the various offices concerned,” Rep. Aliping said.
He explained that the first phase of the work was for the rehabilitation of the west–end stand including the repair of its roof as well as 75 percent of the bleachers. The new west-side bleachers also house office spaces for the city government’s use and cost a total of P50 million.
The second phase which cost a total of P60 million included the renovation of the remaining 25 percent of the bleachers and the construction of an Olympic-size track oval.
Baguio District Engineer Alexander Castaneda said that the new bleachers can now accommodate 6,500 spectators.
He added that additional amounts will be forth coming to finance the construction of the east-side bleachers, the fencing of the rubberized track oval and the construction of a more aesthetic awards grounds just below the Athletic Bowl grand stand.
“This will cost another P50 million, and the fourth phase will include the lighting facilities for the track oval which will probably be allotted by 2017,” Castaneda added.
Meanwhile, the top five winners of the 5,000 meter run male category are Cesar Castaneto (first); Ray Mart Quesada (Second); Vinson Ramos (Third); and Dino Mantilez and JojoSugot, fourth and fifth, respectively.
On the distaff side, Cristabel Martes, a 2-time gold medalist in the South East Asian Games, grabbed the top prize, followed by 9-year old Mabini Elementary School pupil Aira Gali, Cherish Joy Bugaoan, Kaizelle Vergara, and Agustina Angunayon.
The winners received P5,000 (first), P4,000 (second), P3,000 (third), P2,000 (fourth), and P1,000 (fifth) courtesy of Rep. Aliping. /Carl Taawan