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Bringing back Palarong Pambansa to Cebu City a team effort — CCSC chief

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | August 05,2023 - 05:55 PM

Cebu City officials celebrate as the city has been chosen to host the Palarong Pambansa next year. | CCSC Chief Pages

Cebu City officials celebrate as the city has been chosen to host the Palarong Pambansa next year. | CCSC Chief Pages

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) Chairman John Pages said that bringing back Palarong Pambansa to Cebu City was a team effort and a hard-fought contest between other bidders. 

Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Sara Duterte officially announced on Saturday, August 5, that Cebu City won the bid to host Palarong Pambansa next year.

READ: Cebu City is host of Palarong Pambansa 2024 

Rights to host Palarong Pambansa 2024

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama officially accepted from Vice President Duterte the hosting rights during the closing ceremony. 

Pages was also present during the closing ceremony at the Marikina City Sports Center along with DepEd Region 7 Director Sal Jimenez, DepEd Cebu City Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Adolf Aguilar, City Schools Division Superintendent Nimfa Bongo, and Councilor Dondon Hontiveros where the Cebu City hosting announcement was made.

READ: Hontiveros optimistic that Cebu City will be chosen to host Palarong Pambansa 2024

Team effort

According to Pages, Rama and the DepEd Cebu City and Region 7 officials were instrumental to Cebu City’s successful bidding. 

“The factor that led to winning was a team effort,” said Pages in a statement sent to CDN Digital. 

“It was a long process that began last year when Mayor Mike Rama and the Cebu City Sports Commission prioritized hosting the Palaro again,” he said.

READ: Palarong Pambansa 2024: Cebu City makes final bid presentation in DepEd Central Office

Palarong Pambansa hosting intent

Cebu City showed its hosting intent last year by hosting two Palarong Pambansa bubble events. Last June, it continued to showcase its hosting capabilities when Cebu City hosted the Palarong Pambansa pre-qualifying cluster meet. 

“The personal involvement of Mayor Mike Rama was a key factor. He spearheaded our numerous meetings. When the team made the Presentation Bid last July 14 before the Palaro Board, Mayor Mike was our team captain,” he said.

“The top DepEd officials, led by Regional Director Zaldy Jimenez and Cebu City SSD Nimfa Bongo and ASSD Adolf Aguilar, were very instrumental. Same with Councilor Dondon Hontiveros, who was involved in all aspects of the Palaro bid,” Pages said.

“In the end, it was a hard-fought contest between Cebu City and the provinces of Negros Occidental and Antique,” he said.

READ: Cebu City is ready to host Palarong Pambansa 2024

Next steps

Despite the uncertainty of winning the hosting rights, Cebu City proceeded to renovate the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) which was originally constructed in 1994 in the city’s second Palaro hosting. 

According to Pages, they plan to have a session with key stakeholders to prepare for next year’s hosting.

It includes CCSC, the Cebu City government, Deped, the private sector, and the local sports community. 

“We will set our goals and objectives to make Palaro 2024 an unforgettable and successful event. To form the Palaro 2024 Organizing Committee, start our preparations, and complete the renovations in the Cebu City Sports Center by the end of 2023,” Pages detailed. 

As a dry-run for the 2024 hosting, Cebu City will host the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) in May next year. Before that, Cebu city will also hold the Cebu City Olympics.

The Palarong Pambansa 2024 is set on July 2024. 

READ: Cebu City showcases Palarong Pambansa hosting capability with pre-qualifying meet

Hosting goals

Besides the preparations, Pages strives to level up the hosting by choosing national or international-standard playing venues so as comfortable billeting quarters for the athletes and officials. 

They also aim to provide ample accommodations for the visitors and a good transportation system for everyone during the meet. 

On the entertainment side, Pages wants to provide everyone with spectacular opening and closing ceremonies following a Sinulog-themed presentation.

In addition, they want the Palaro to host next year as a sports tourism opportunity for the entire island of Cebu by providing visitors with various tourist attractions. 

Lastly, they want to make next year’s hosting an inspiration for non-athletes to get into sports and further inspire current athletes to strive harder to qualify for next year’s meet. 

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TAGS: Cebu City, host, Palarong Pambansa 2024

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