Josel Sapitan

After 30 years, succeeding its last hosting in 1994, Cebu City hosted again the Palarong Pambansa held in the ‘Queen City of the South’ Sports Center, from July 9 to 16.

Photo Courtesy of Daiven Monforte/Explained PH.

Approximately 16,000 young athletes and delegates from across the country, including the new division from Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO) and the National Academy of Sports (NAS), gathered in the grand opening ceremony of the nation's largest sporting events.

“The Palarong Pambansa has been indeed a great unifier… the hosting of this national games are also demonstrated the unity of among Cebuanos,” said Hon. Raymond Garcia, the acting mayor of Cebu City.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also in his keynote speech, welcomed the arrival of the PSO and NAS, then announced the debut of Soft Tennis, Karatedo, Football, and Esports as exhibition sports this year.

Marcos added that we will see technology this year that connects games to families and fans worldwide and enhances future competition performance.

Moreover, the event started with the entrance of "The Parada ng mga Atleta" featuring 17 different regions, VIP guests, along with the PSO and NAS.

Palarong Pambansa 2024 also introduced its new official Cebu flowerpecker mascot called “Matatag”.

Palarong Pambansa Secretary General Asec. Francis Bringas, DILG Sec. Benjamin Abalos Jr., and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richard Bachmann hoisted the Palaro and Regional Delegation Banners.

After the hoisting of the banners, the Oathtaking of Sportsmanship and Technical Officials and Coaches was led by 2023 Palarong Pambansa Dance Sports Gold medalist Mitchioni Dinaunao and World Athletics Referee Ms. Jeanette Obiena.

President Marcos Jr. lit the torch ceremoniously and passed it to Cebuano sports icon Hon. Dondon Hontiveros, who then ignited the Palarong Pambansa 2024 urn.