MANILA – The “Larong Pinoy” was officially opened at the 2023 Palarong Pambansa in Marikina City on Friday to promote and preserve the rich Filipino culture through traditional games.

“It is very important to preserve our culture and sports,” Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said in a statement after leading the opening of the “Larong Pinoy” exhibition games at the Marikina Sports Center Gymnasium with Department of Education (DepEd) Assistant Secretary for Operations Francis Cesar Bringas.

“A community’s identity and heritage are defined by its culture. Its preservation helps future generations in understanding their ancestors’ roots, customs, and values, providing a sense of belonging and continuity,” he said. “Culture and sports preservation benefit the society, build communities, and contribute to a more peaceful and united country.”

“Larong Pinoy” refers to a collection of traditional Filipino activities and sports that have been passed down through generations in the country.

These games have historical roots in the country’s pre-colonial history and show the Filipino people’s creativity, resourcefulness and communal spirit.

All the 17 regions participating in the national games have selected 10 members from their delegation to take part in the “Palarong Pinoy,” as directed under DepEd Memorandum 35, s. 2023.

“Larong Pinoy” was first introduced at the 62nd Palarong Pambansa in 2019 held in Davao, where DepEd officials and staff took part in traditional games, such as Kadang-kadang, Patintero, Hilahang-lubid and Karera ng Sako.

The “Larong Pinoy” that were highlighted as exhibition games were the Kadang-kadang, Patintero and Tumbang Preso.

Also included in the exhibition sports are cheer dance, weightlifting, and obstacle course.

On the other hand, separate activities, such as Para-Athletics, Para-Swimming, Bocce, and Goalball, will be held in the coming days for learner-athletes with Intellectual Disability, visually impaired, and orthopedically handicapped/amputee under Special Education classes. (PNA)