WORTH THE WAIT

By: Glendale Rosal and Ray Charlie Diaz May 19,2018 - 10:33 PM

President Duterte announces that he is doubling the PNG cash prize

The opening ceremonies of the Philippine National Games held last night at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) had to take a long break as the arrival of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte got delayed for more than two hours.

However, the wait was well worth it because Duterte, during his speech, has announced that he is doubling the cash prize for the top 5 Local Government Unit-delegations, which was met with enthusiastic cheering from the athletes.

This means that the overall champion will now be receiving P10 million, P8 million for the second placer, then P6M, P4M and P2M for the third, fourth and fifth placers, respectively.

Duterte got delayed because he also arrived late in Alegria, a town southwest of Cebu City, wherein he was invited to lead the ceremonial commencement of the oil and gas production in the town’s mountain barangay of Montpeller.

The performers who had performed earlier gladly did a repeat performance for Duterte to the delight of the VIPs, said Ricky Ballesteros, who was in charge of the opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremonies were ushered in by the parade of athletes from the CAP building along Osmeña Blvd. to the CCSC, at 3 p.m.

This was followed by the opening remarks delivered by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, then Oath of Sportsmanship led by Rio Olympics weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, as well as the oath of officiating officials led by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which is organizing the PNG.

Aside from the surprise announcement of the cash prize, the spectators were also treated to a spectacular show especially with the lighting of the urn of peace and unity led by PSC commissioner Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez, the overall PNG chairman.

The torch relay was led by Olympics boxing silver medalist Onyok Velasco, then bowling legend Bong Coo, chess legend Eugene Torre, billiards champ Fransico “Django” Bustamante and taekwondo icon Monsour Del Rosario who handed the torch to Fernandez.

The basketball legend then lighted a miniature urn which triggered a bird-shaped drone that flew amidst the fireworks. The drone then dropped sparks on a bigger urn wherein big flames ignited to the wild cheering of the crowd.

Among the VIP’s that were in attendance aside from Osmeña were Cebu Province Gov. Hilario Davide III, Sen. Miguel Zubiri, DOT Region 7 director Shalemar Tamano, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines CEO and Presidential adviser for Sports Dennis Uy.

The hostilities will officially kick off today in various venues around Cebu.

Athletics and swimming will kick off at the CCSC, where most of the competitions will be held as well.

In Danao City, north Cebu, the archery will fire off at the Danao City track oval while the mountainbike event is at the course in Manlayag Patag, a mountain barangay in the city.

In the City of Naga, south Cebu, the sepak takraw will be held at the Enan Chiong sports complex, along with the tennis event at its tennis courts adjacent of the latter’s venue while the weightlifting will be held at the City of Naga open court near the plaza.

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