2 Apayao gymnasts receive PhP165,000 from province for CARAA success

CARAA Apayao Award. Department of Education-Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Ronald Castillo with Baguio City officials led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan awarded the first runner up trophy to the officials from Apayao led by League or Municipalities of the Philippines – Apayao President and Pudtol Mayor Hector Reuel Pascua during the closing ceremony of the CARAA and the Regional Academic Festival at the Baguio City High School Dormitory on May 1, 2023. Apayao athletes hauled 52 gold, 54 silver and 86 bronze medals to be declared as this year’s first runner up. RMC PIA-CAR


Two elementary gymnasts elementary students are the toast of Apayao after bringing home a total of 11 gold mints during the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) held in Baguio last April 29 to May 1.

Their reward is a hefty PhP165,000 from a grateful province.

Rhiane Pacampara, 12, and Sweetzie Alupani, 13, of the San Jose Elementary School (SJES) in Flora and Santo Rosario School (SRS) in Pudtol feats allowed Apayao to even take the initial lead in the six province and two cities sports meet.

The former cellar dweller of the annual meet finished second place ahead of annual bridesmaid Benguet, the first for Apayao.

Pacampara, who won six golds, took home a hefty PhP90,000, while Alupani, thanks to her five mints, was given PhP75,000 by Gov. Elias Bulut, Jr. during a simple ceremony during the weekend, according to the Apayao public information office.

The Apayao-PIO Facebook page said that both athletes, who have been training in gymnastics since the age of nine and are proud members of the aeta community in Pudtol.

“Agyaman kami la unay iti pammadayaw nga naited kanyami nangruna iti opportunity nga mangirepresent iti province tayo nga Apayao iti CARAA meet (We are thankful of the honor given to us and the opportunity given to us to represent our province of Apayao to the CARAA meet,” Pacampara said.

“I hope that our achievements can inspire other young aetas in our province to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential,” Alupani added.

Bulut, Jr. praised Pacampara and Alupani for their exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.

“We are very proud of Rhiane and Sweetzie for bringing glory to our province and the entire Cordillera region. They are a shining example of what hard work, determination, and perseverance can achieve. We hope that this cash prize will help them in her future endeavors,” Bulut said.

Bulut said the provincial government, which he leads, will continue to invest in the development of sports programs and facilities in the province to produce more world-class athletes like Pacampara and Alupani.

Baguio councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr., who was present during the ceremony, expressed appreciation to the Apayao government’s gesture and even surprise as he took a shot at Baguio’s system of releasing cash incentives to its athletes which takes months.

“For Apayao, it just took several days, for Baguio athletes, it takes months or even six for the medal winners to get their incetives,” bewailed the councilor as he added that steps must be taken to allow the early release of incentives. Pigeon Lobien



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