Opinion: Other delegations have to level up the competition if they are to entice Baguio to host CARAA


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It’s a wonder why no local government wants to host the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Games.

Some reasons were pointed out last week in this section of our site. As pointed out then, Baguio is the most appropriate and should be the host of the games in case there are no takers.

(See related story: Opinion: Bad economics is driving CAR LGUs away as CARAA hosts)

But as also emphasized, the City of Pines cannot, and will rightfully reject, this hosting duty by default.


DepEd and the other delegations give them reasons to.

What can they do?

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong suggested the other delegations should contribute to the expenses of the meet.

The sharing the burden in defraying the costs is a nice way of forcing each participant to take care of their own athletes needs.

But this might again be done just in compliance for the conduct of the meet.

It doesn’t address what could be really required from the participating provinces and cities.

I have something in mind. It hasn’t really happened a lot so there in little proof of of seeing its effect.

The participating LGUs and DepEd Divisions should field a contingent that will not only participate in the games but also give entertaining shows to the fans. This could potentially attract them to voluntary support their performances in many ways.

I think it’s a better approach than the traditional “asking, and subsequently thanking, the fans to support their games”.

Putting up a good show will always be a good thing for the fans

As previously premised so many times by this writer, entertainment is one of the integral component of sports competitions. Sports events that are to be played in front of an audience can never attain success without attendance, no matter how good the participants and how exciting the games are.

That’s why hosting an event like the CARAA Games is more than just sports, the entertainment concern has also to be taken into consideration.

While it is a responsibility of Local Government Units (LGUs) to support and fund platforms for sports programs and developments like the CARAA, hosting such event should also bear fruit.

Like the event should be able to provide their athletes a platform to showcase their talents and skills, give them better opportunity to give post evaluation on how to improve them, among other things.

Baguio doesn’t need the CARAA to qualify for the Palaro

Truth of the matter is Baguio doesn’t have an urgent need for the CARAA, based on its main objective.

The CARAA is supposed to be the main selection process in determining which CAR athletes will represent the region in the Palarong Pambansa.

Baguio has already proven time and time again that they are capable of reaching the Palaro without the CARAA.

This is not a sweeping generalization but CAR can send a pure Baguio City delegation to the Palarong Pambansa and still come up with pretty close results as it would have when sending a delegation composed of CARAA selections.

Any idea when was the last time a non-Baguio CARAA delegation won the event? Moreover, when was the last time Baguio did not dominate the event?

Baguio-based athletes have proven they can fairly represent the region in national competitions.

The DepEd has already said that if nobody wants to host the games, no CARAA meet would be held.

Baguio may not care at all for if there is no CARAA, the City of Pines rightfully have a variety of logical reasons why they should be chosen represent the region and achieve a better overall result than any other province or city in the region.

This is just one of the many reasons why the city may not be enthusiastic about spending just to host the event.

Let’s not forget the main goal: competition!

Now, if other delegations will be able to put up a performance level that rivals that of Baguio, the meet will become competitive and give the athletes of the different participants a platform to gauge the level of their performance and evaluate what is needed to raise them up to higher levels.

This will justify Baguio spending taxpayers’ money to accommodate the event.

So, if Baguio is to take up the cudgels when no one wants to, it is up now to the other delegations to give an incentive for the City to be enthusiastic about hosting the event.

Afterall, the incentive is something that they should be normally doing anyway.

Here’s why improving the competition could possibly help in easing the economics dilemma of a host:

(1) Better competition makes games more watchable for audience and, as such, the event has a higher probability to draw a larger crowd to troop the venue, or follow the games.

Sports fans don’t normally enjoy a lopsided match. Even Baguio residents probably wouldn’t bother attending or following games if they knew their athletes would handily win the games even before they start.

And if games of CARAA continue to be like these, there is no incentive for Baguio City to accommodate it in as far as giving entertainment to its constituents.

By fielding a highly competitive contingent, the other delegations will be giving Baguio a good reason to bid for hosting the event in relation to the entertainment value it provides and, as a result, the possible economic gains that its constituents will enjoy from the patronizing audience.

(2) Better competition provides better training for the athletes of the host.

It is a normal occurrence that one of the advantages a host gets is the ability to field a larger number of athlete participants due to the lesser costs.

Lopsided games take away the essence of this advantage.

What’s the point of Baguio spending a substantial amount to host the event when it could achieve the same in any other place and spending lesser?

The other participants should make Baguio feel threatened in its quest of retaining its title. The challenge will justify the city to accommodate the event in relation of providing their athletes a platform for better training and leveling up performance.

Just do your thing other delegations, “Beat Baguio” and make them feel threatened

Non-Baguio LGUs and Department of Education (DepEd) Divisions may not necessary have to shell out any of their budget to help out in the cost of hosting.

The best thing they have to do is take care of the level of competition in their end, field the best competitive athletes they have and prepare them to battle at a level that could be at par, or even exceed, that of Baguio City’s level.

It may not necessary result to winning games and matches but “Beat Baguio” or “Anybody but Baguio” should be the mindset of every other delegation entering the games.

It might be what Baguio City is really asking for in order to host the event, even at an annually basis. Other delegations just have to take care of business at their end.

It is not ideal for Baguio to be a runaway winner without others putting up a good fight if the CARAA is supposed to generate substantial fan following and interest.

It’s been a while since Baguio has had a real rival for supremacy rights in the region for high school and elementary sports.

It seems Baguio has been the undisputed winner of the CARAA for, like forever.

This has to stop if the CARAA is to become the prime sporting event in the region that will excite Cordillerans and attract them to follow the games.

And it would never work if other delegations will ask, nay beg, Baguio to level down its standard on performance just so they can compete with them.

It’s about other delegations stepping up their game and make themselves a worthy rival of Baguio during the games.