Palarong Pambansa Football: More than just an average tourney
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Palarong Pambansa Football which will start at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, is more than just an average tournament.
The mini-tournament features four Cebu-based secondary division football teams strutting their wares in a two-day bubble format hosted by the Central Visayas Football Association (CVFA), Department of Education (DepEd), in cooperation with the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC).
The tournament is a crucial step for DepEd in its goal to reformat the Palarong Pambansa to adapt to the new normal because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means that the success of the tournament will serve as the blueprint for DepEd’s upcoming sports events related to Palarong Pambansa which will follow a bubble-format.
Department of Education (DepEd) Director of Palarong Pambansa Secretariat Joel Erestain graced the presser of the Palarong Pambansa Football at the Eco Tech Center in Barangay Sudlon on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Joining him was DepEd Region VII director Sal Jimenez, Palarong Pambansa secretariat heads Maximo Abalos, and Edward Masucat II.
Rufino Arellano, DepEd’s football sports manager for Palarong Pambansa, CVFA president Engineer Rodney Orale, board members Archie Reyes and Guy Ceniza were also present during the presser.
The bubble tournament was tasked to Arellano back in 2021, which was originally to be hosted by Masbate.
However, due to the lack of resources in Masbate, Arellano brought the tournament to Cebu during his visit here for personal reasons. He immediately met with CVFA and the latter didn’t hesitate to accommodate the hosting.
“There was a bold suggestion bakit hindi tayo mag pa bubble? Napakamot kaming lahat, pero hindi pa kasi namin nakita kung paano magpa bubble and gastusin ng bubble, and who are going to do it? So ang ginawa natin, nag pa training muna tayo, nag karoon tayo ng refresher course. Out of 24 sports na hawak ng Palarong Pambansa,18 doon meron nang refresher course, including futsal and football,” said Erestain.
After the refresher courses, they started the concept of having bubble tournaments. The first bubble sport was boxing in Baguio City last March followed by futsal and multi-sports in Cauayan City in Isabela.
“Nung sinabi nilang football, ayaw nila sa Cauayan noon kasi full-contact yun eh. Pero sinabi ko sa kanila, wag nyo nang problemahin kasi meron namang football sa Cebu,” added Erestain.
“I’m very thankful for this. We’re here right now, and tamang-tama naman na very supportive ang CVFA and dinagdagan pa ng cooperation ng DepEd regional office VII. Kung lahat kasi mag co-cooperate, malaking bagay talaga eh.”
For his part, Jimenez is very grateful for the opportunity given by the DepEd Central Office to them for hosting a significant sports event that will dictate the future of Palarong Pambansa.
“We made sure to have this bubble tournament to be well-prepared, because that is our direction. Of course, under secretary, we’re considering him under secretary Revsee Escobedo who will be coming also to monitor during the Palarong Pambansa football bubble.
Meanwhile, Orale is up to the challenge to impress DepEd and the Philippine Football Federation’s (PFF) top brass that will observe tomorrow’s tournament.
DepEd under secretary Revsee Escobedo will observe the tournament together with PFF technical director Stewart Hall, PFF grassroots head David Javellana, and PFF youth development head Reiji Hirata.
“We are very happy that the football bubble is assigned here in Cebu with the help with our regional director Sal Jimenez, we are very fortunate that the people in the central office of DepEd are also involved. The challenge for us in CVFA is during the planning stage of the football bubble. The challenge was Typhoon Odette, we’re very hopeful that time for companies to sponsor our request to host the event because the event is for the youth to restart Palarong Pambansa,” said Orale.
The competing teams for tomorrow’s bubble tournament are Abellana National School, Don Bosco Boys Home Liloan, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, and the Don Bosco Technological Center.
Orale added that CVFA’s hosting wouldn’t be possible if not for its generous sponsors from Cebu’s football community. He thanked Elan Vita Diagnostics Solutions, J.E Abraham C. Lee Construction & Development Inc., Big Blue Logistics Corp., Dakay Construction, Dynamic Herb Sports Inc., Nature’s Spring, and Leylam.
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