FEBRUARY 14, 2011, CULTURAL CENTER OF LAGUNA – Governor Jeorge “E.R.” Ejercito Estregan formally introduced the province’s official team to the Liga Filipinas - The Laguna Golden Lions.
The team was organized by the Governor, himself, not only to represent the province in the League but to have a bigger challenge for the entire group —- to endorse Laguna as the Sports Capital of the Philippines and to promote, his most important project, the “SAVE LAGUNA LAKE, SAVE LIVES” Campaign. To further ensure the team’s success, in and out of the hard court, the Governor also sought his brothers’ support. Laguna Golden Lion’s Team Manager Gherome Ejercito and General Manager Gerald Ejercito (former PBA Player), both think that the team’s positive performance in the upcoming Liga Filipinas, starting March 2011, will definitely create awareness about the Governor’s advocacy since people, from all walks of life, simply love sports.
Meanwhile, Provincial Sports and Games Development Office Head and Laguna Golden Lions Adviser, Albert Abarquez, regarded the players as the province’s new ambassadors. As the tournament circles the country, the team will have the opportunity to promote the province’s events, projects, and programs, including the much awaited La Laguna Festival on April.
Aside from all these, the team will also conduct free basketball clinic programs all-over Laguna, especially in the rural communities, in support to the Governor’s comprehensive sports development programs in the grassroots level.
Liga Filipinas, a regional basketball league owned by Pinoy Basketball Inc. (PBI), was first launched on June 2008. Members of the League include Apayao, Pampanga, Laguna, Quezon, Taguig, Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga, and Gen. Santos. All Liga Filipinas games will be aired in the national television. [S]
After five days of non-stop sports action, the Southern Tagalog CALABARZON Athletic Association finally concluded last Friday, March 18, 2011. Out 15 divisions, the Province of Laguna was hailed as this year’s back-to-back champion, after winning the over-all championship in the elementary and secondary division.
Laguna Governor, Hon. Jeorge “E.R.” Ejercito Estregan, stole the attention of the entire Alcala Sports Complex as he surprised the Laguna Delegation with his presence during the awarding and closing ceremony. The Governor showed his undying support to the young athletes of Laguna who, once again, brought honor and recognition to the Province. Provincial Sports and Games Development Office Head Albert Abarquez and DepEd Laguna Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Ester Lozada were overwhelmed with the Governor’s presence and support until the last day of the competition. The night before the closing ceremony, the Governor was also in Sariaya East Central Elementary School, the quarter of the Laguna Delegation, to distribute the training and competition allowance of the athletes which according to Dr. Lozada inspired and definitely propelled the division to win the back-to-back championship as almost all of the remaining games were won by the delegation the next morning.
The Governor, together with the officials, coaches, and athletes of Laguna, cheered for every single award the province has received. The province did not only bag the over-all back-to-back championship, Laguna also shined in the following individual and special awards:
3rd Place: Cleanest Delegation
3rd Place: Best in Parade
3rd Place: Best in Saludo
3rd Place: Most Disciplined
MS. STCAA 2011: Eliza Rei Buban (gymnastics)
Most Valuable Player: Noverson Valverde (athletics)
110-Meter Hurdles:Noverson Valverde
Long Jump:Noverson Valverde
Shot Put:Monica Siaron
Triple Jump:Joyce Cabaneros
Discuss Throw:Avery Cuyugan
4 X 100 Meter Relay:Noverson Valverde
Cedie del Mundo
100m Back Stroke:Ariana Herranz
200m Butterfly Stroke:Lea Martinez
200m Butterfly Stroke:Franz Marquez
200m Individual Medley: Franz Marquez
With the outstanding performance of the Laguna Delegation in the STCAA 2011, the young Laguneño athletes have proven that Bagong Laguna, under the dynamic and supportive leadership of Hon. Jeorge “E.R.” Ejercito Estregan, is indeed and undoubtedly, UNA SA LAHAT.
THE CHAMPION’S SECRETS REVEALED
During Governor Jeorge “E.R.” Ejercito Estregan’s visit to the Laguna Delegation, Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Ester Lozada shared the secrets of Laguna for becoming the Champion Delegation in STCAA for the last three years.
THE POWER OF PRAYERS
As the Governor always emphasized, God is good all the time so as the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, that is why he encourages every Laguneño to always pray. According to Dr. Lozada, the delegation also has the same belief that prayer is powerful. In fact, a group of teachers, known as the prayer warriors, gathers every night during the STCAA to pray hard so that the delegation can execute its best performance during the entire competition, most especially, in the crucial games. Aside from the prayer brigades, each teacher also keeps two rosaries, one in each pocket of the jacket, which they hold while watching the STCAA games. The superintendent also stressed that without the help from God, the delegation could not win the over-all championship, more so, the back-to-back over-all championship.
Aside from praying, Dr. Ester Lozada sincerely thanked Governor ER’s utmost support to the athletes and coaches of Laguna. The superintendent believes that the Governor’s presence in the STCAA greatly inspires the athletes to do their best in every game. In fact, after the Governor visited the athletes’ quarter on Thursday night, almost all the remaining games in the next morning of Friday, were won by Laguna.
THE CONTINUED CHAMPION LEGACY
After learning that his beloved province had won the back-to-back over-all championship in the 2011 STCAA, the Governor formally announced that he will start the construction of Laguna’s Sports Science Academy at the New San Luis RECS Village. This was after former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the Ejercito-Estrada family donated five million for the construction and renovation of the sports facilities in Laguna. This project hopes to intensify the sports development programs of the province and promote a vibrant sports culture among young Laguneños. Thus, the Province will never cease producing competitive and outstanding athletes. The governor also expressed his desire for Laguna to host next year’s STCAA and Palarong Pambansa which is very timely since Laguna is maintaining the top post in the regional games.
STA. CRUZ, Laguna- Governor JEORGE “E.R.” EJERCITO ESTREGAN’s passion, grace, and fire set ablaze theProvince of Laguna’s bid to host the PALARONG PAMBANSA 2012.
Laguna’s Chief Executive expressed his great will to make the 19-hectare New San Luis Recreational, Educational, Cultural and Sports (RECS) Village the venue for the country’s biggest sporting event. The said Sports Complex has undergone tremendous facelift, with the renovation of the Basketball Gymnasium, 50-m Olympic Size Swimming Pool, Rubberized Oval, Shooting Range, Grand Stand, and Football fields. Secured Billing Quarters inside and near the Sports Complex are also accessible to the delegates and participants.
These facilities are all ready for the games, but Gov. Ejercito expressed his satisfaction over the renovation but expressed that he wants more work done to shape the future of sports in Laguna and to solidify the complex’s status of being world-class, geared with high-end, state-of-the-art facilities and equipments.
He pointed out that aside from the high end facilities and venues, the cost of running the Palarong Pambansa is lesser since the RECS Village can accommodate simultaneous conduct of games, come rain or shine, even until nighttime.
History, according to Ejercito, plays a major role in Laguna’s great desire to bid for the National Athletic Meet. According to the Athletic Handbook of Philippine Public Schools published in 1913, Laguna hosted the first ever Southern Tagalog Athletic Association, now popularly known as Southern Tagalog CALABARZON Athletic Association. The said association was formed by the Tagalog Provinces of Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Tayabas, Cavite, and Batangas, where the two latter provinces did not enter in the first meet which was held in Sta. Cruz, the provincial capital, March 2 to 7, 1911.
Ejercito believes that it is most fitting for the Province of Laguna to host another major sports event in the centennial anniversary of the launch of the STAA.
Should the province be chosen by the National Athletic Meet Association to host the 2012 games, this will be the first time that Laguna will host the Palarong Pambansa.
Laguna has developed a vibrant sports culture under Governor Estregan’s SPORTS EXCELLENCE REVOLUTION. It has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine Sports Commission, and has implemented a Comprehensive Sports Development Programs. Moreover, it will also host the second round of the LIGA FILIPINAS, where the province’s flag bearer, the LAGUNA GOLDEN LIONS, will battle with Ilocos Sur CS Tigers, General Santos City, Cebu Lhuillier. It has also reigned supreme in the Southern Tagalog CALABARZON Athletic Association as back-to-back champion in the Elementary and High School Divisions during the past two years of competition.
Prior to its bid, the Province of Laguna has hosted several major sporting events such as the 1991, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2007 Southern Tagalog CALABARZON Athletic Association, 2nd Philippine National youth Games-Batang Pinoy 2001, Regional PRISAA Meet 2010, Region IV-A Inter-School Taekwondo Championship 2010, Southern Tagalog Amateur Swimming Association Swimming Cup 2010, Philippine Football Federation Festival of Football (Luzon) 2011, which only proves that the Province of Laguna truly deserves and is more than willing to host the 2012 Palarong Pambansa, in celebration of its centennial sports legacy.
More than the sports legacy, Laguna boasts of premier tourist destinations that can relax and re-energize tired athletes. Laguna is proud of its enchanting wonders and refreshing waters (Pagsanjan Falls, 7 Lakes of San Pablo, Caliraya Lake, Hotsprings); Rich Heritage and Culture (Various Museums, Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery); Intricate Arts and Crafts (Wood Carving of Paete, Tsinelas of Liliw, Bayong and Pandan Products of Cavinti and Luisiana, Barong Tagalog of Lumban); Centuries-Old Churches and Ancestral Homes (Rizal Shrine, Old Parish Churches); Diverse Cuisine and Delectable Delicacies (Buko Pie of Los Baños, Kesong Puti of Sta. Cruz, salted eggs and balut of Victoria, puto of Biñan); and world-class entertainment (La Laguna Festival, Enchanted Kingdom, various festivals of all municipalities).
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) has hailed Laguna as the No. 1 Province and the Best Place to live in(Residential), invest (Investment) and visit (Tourism). It has also been declared by the Department of Tourism as one of the country’s top tourist destinations of choice, alongside Coron, Palawan and Sagada, Mountain Province.
Moreover, the provincial economy has witnessed the sudden bloom, with international car manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Ford, Foton, Nissan, Hyundai and Mitsubishi, as well as various call center companies expanding their empires in Laguna’s business districts, thus earning the title RESORT CAPITAL, DETROIT, and SILICON VALLEY of the Philippines.
That is why, Governor JEORGE “E.R.” EJERCITO ESTREGAN believes that Laguna is THE ONLY choice to host the Palarong Pambansa 2012, because it provides not only the best sports facilities, but also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience nature, savor flavors, strengthen ties, intensify passion, transcend limitations and continue the legacy of sports at the 2012 Palarong Pambansa in the enchanting province of Laguna, where athletes can create memories they will remember beyond their lifetime.