By Mark Manez
VIGAN, Ilocos Sur - Perennial rivals NCR and Calabarzon struck terror in their respective events at the 2018 Palarong Pambansa, Friday morning.
The Metro Manila Stalwarts trudged their way to half of the 14 gold medals given away in the taekwondo kyorugi - secondary event, while Calabarzon swept all four relay titles in record fashion.
Gabriel Lamarca led the charge for the Stalwarts as he posted his superiority over Central Visayas' Warren Jan Rama in the Boys' pinweight class.
Mark Eledir David and Dail Ramyel Pano shared bronze for Central Luzon and Western Visayas respectively.
Rommel Pablo Jr. likewise survived Caraga's challenge from Ariel Rupa to walk away with the gold in the Flyweight section. Dan Paul Von Abelgas (Central Visayas) and Jeoffrey Malsi (Cagayan) took bronze respectively.
Jemuel Rendora likewise dominated the Lightweight class with a masterclass show of force as he tripped Marco Antonio Rubio of Central Luzon.
Rey Tambulian Jr. and Dominggo Ugaddan Jr. added bronze medals for Davao and Calabarzon respectively.
Marc Andrei Gacilos (Welter). Justine Mark Agno (Open), Abigael Faye Valdez (Girls' Bantam) and James Emmanuelle Macasaet (Girls' Feather) also stomping their respective opponents en route to dominating the event.
Over at the Quirino Stadium, Calabarzon, turned on their after burners as they blitzed past their fellow competitors in the 4x400m events.
Twins Charlaine and Charmaine De Ocampo, Erica Rufo and Jessel Lumapas rewrote the Palaro record in the Secondary Girls relay by clocking in at 3:53.97, 0.4 seconds faster from last year set in San Jose de Buenavista.
Western Visayas (3:58.79) and Eastern Visayas (3:58.80) added silver and bronze medals respectively.
Their counterparts in the Secondary Boys side nearly made a double as they taped in 3:22.34, 0.24 seconds slower than the present record posted by National Capital Region set during the 2014 edition in Laguna.
Western Visayas and NCR, figured themselves in a wire-to-wire standoff with the former winning it by the slimmest of margins and taking home silver. The Stalwarts had to settle for bronze.
Calabarzon completed the sweep with the addition of two more gold medals in the Elementary 4x400 events.
The girls posted a final time of 4:16.16 seconds while the boys sealed the deal with their 3:55.62 clocking. Western Visayas and CAR, Mimaropa and NCR took home silver and bronze medals respectively in both events.