Cebu City is ready to host Palarong Pambansa 2024
CEBU CITY, Philippines—- “Cebu is ready,” said Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) chairman John Pages after successfully hosting the five-day Palarong Pambansa Pre-National Qualifying Meet (PNQM) Cluster 3 that wrapped up last Saturday, June 17, 2023.
Cebu City through CCSC and in collaboration with the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7), DepEd Cebu City, and the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) has rolled out its red carpet in hosting eight qualifying sports events featuring 1,500 athletes and officials from four regions.
“After 30 years since we last hosted [the Palarong Pambansa] in 1994, we are the country’s most eager and enthusiastic LGU to welcome the 12,000+ athletes to Cebu in July 2024. We’re also privileged to host the first-ever Palaro Qualifying event since the Palaro started in 1948,” said Pages.
Last year, Cebu City expressed its intension to host the Palarong Pambansa 2024 after hosting two Palarong Pambansa bubble tournaments in boxing and football which also capped off successfully. It was in January when Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama officially announced its bid to host the biggest amateur athletic meet next year.
“These Palaro [Pre-National Qualifying Meet] events have given us the perfect preparation to host the Big One in 2024,” added Pages.
In addition to that, Cebu City tapped SHS-AdC to host three sports events, while the University of Southern Philippines-Foundation (USP-F), University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban, Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC), and Labangon Elementary School hosted the rest of the sports events.
Also, they tapped four public schools within Cebu City to serve as the billeting quarters for the visiting regions, including Central Visayas.
One of the most noticeable changes during the pre-national qualifying meet was the consistent live streaming of all sports events and the real-time posting of results online through social media.
According to Pages, this was one of the key features that they want to showcase as it caters to thousands of viewers not just in the country, but worldwide.
“We offered livestreaming of the seven sports and all the games. Our Facebook reach was close to 500,000+ engagements. All the games were broadcast live. We had parents and family members watching from Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. The final game of the girls secondary volleyball generated over 24,000 views. Thanks to Dr. Adolf Aguilar, the assistant superintendent of DepEd Cebu City, and his team, our social media presence was wide-reaching,” he added.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Pages added that the hosting of the pre-national qualifying meet was also a great opportunity for them to scale Cebu City’s hosting capability.
Palarong Pambansa features 18 regions and 27 sports events. It means that the number of athletes will likely be tripled and more venues and schools are needed to fully host the meet.
“This was a very good opportunity to experience hosting the Palaro in a smaller scale,” said Pages.
For Aguilar, who is the DepEd Cebu City assistant superintendent and the meet’s official games secretariat, they can further improve in complying with international youth games standards on the competition aspect.
“One area that Cebu City can improve on is ensuring that all venues are fully compliant with international youth games standards. With the necessary resources at our disposal, we can elevate the Palarong Pambansa experience and guarantee optimal athletic performance for every participating athlete and team,” said Aguilar who also lauded Central Visayas’ overall performance for topping most of the eight sports events.
Meanwhile, Pages thanked renowned Cebuano sports physician Dr. Rhoel Dejaño and the entire medical team for manning the safety and medical needs of the competing athletes.
He also thanked DepEd- 7, DepEd Cebu City, and Mayor Rama for their overwhelming support of the recently concluded meet.
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