PBBM opens Palarong Pambansa in Cebu City sans VP Duterte

CEBU CITY – This year’s Palarong Pambansa was formally opened here on Tuesday, July 9, by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. 


PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrives at the Cebu City Sports Center for the opening of the Palarong Pambansa 2024 on Tuesday, July 9. (MyTVCebu)

The President was warmly welcomed by thousands of athletes who took turns taking selfies with him.

However, Vice President Sara Duterte, the Education Secretary until July 19, was conspicuously absent from the event spearheaded by the Department of Education.

While the opening ceremony was ongoing at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), Duterte was at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, a few kilometers away from  the venue. The Vice President also visited the Cebu City Medical Center near the CCSC.

Sen. Imee Marcos, the sister of the President, also went to the CCSC but did not stay long and was no longer around when Marcos arrived.

Joining Marcos on stage were Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia.

Marcos lauded local officials and organizers for taking the challenge to host the event.

“To the local government officials and the people of Cebu, thank you for making this event possible. It was a very great success. It is a very great achievement that you were able to manage to put together this spectacular event in such a short time. And I know that there were many sleepless nights before we consider ourselves ready for this but for that, we thank you,” Marcos said.

Marcos welcomed the addition of dancesport in the Palaro.

“The Queen City of the South has gained a reputation for its thriving dancesports scene, both nationally and internationally,” Marcos said.

The President highlighted the importance of the Palarong Pambansa which pits the country’s top secondary and elementary athletes.

“This event is more than just an inter-school (and) inter-regional competition; it is also a platform where we discover, where we develop, and hone future professional athletes, Olympians, and servant-leaders,” Marcos said.

“Let this week-long competition showcase not only the mental and physical fortitude of our athletes, but also the fortitude and strength of the Filipino heart and the Filipino spirit,” Marcos added.

The President reminded the competing athletes to “let this serve as your training ground and demonstrate the unwavering spirit, talent, and dedication of all young Filipinos.”

“It is your moment to shine. Participate actively in your events, play with pride, tenacity, play with integrity. Show the Filipino’s indomitable character, our graciousness in defeat, and our magnanimity in victory. In this way, you will bring pride to the schools and regions that you represent. I congratulate you all in advance. You are already champions, all of you that are here,” Marcos said.