PASIG CITY, March 7, 2017 – It is time once again for one of the grandest sporting events in the country. This year, the Department of Education (DepEd) will hold the 60th Palarong Pambansa in San Jose, Antique on April 23 to 29.
The Palarong Pambansa is an annual multi-sporting event involving student-athletes from 18 regions of the Philippines organized and governed by the DepEd.
The Palarong Pambansa aims to promote Physical Education (PE) and sports as integral parts of basic education for the youth to become responsible and globally competitive citizens of the country. It also aims to inculcate in their minds the spirit of discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, sportsmanship, and other inherent values, and promote and achieve peace through sports. In addition, it targets to widen the bases for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure for elementary and secondary students to serve as athletes’ roster of the National Sports Associations (NSAs) for international competitions. Furthermore, the event will provide a database for valid and universal basis to further improve the school sports development program.
The first game was held in Manila in 1948. Before it was called Palarong Pambansa, it was dubbed as Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games or BPISAA. It continued yearly until it was cancelled in 1957 because of the death of President Ramon Magsaysay. In 1958, Tagbilaran, Bohol hosted the 10th edition of the game. The game was again cancelled in 1972 when President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. In 1973, the last BPISAA was held in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
In 1974, the Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games was renamed Palarong Pambansa.
In 1980, 1984-1987, and 1999, Palarong Pambansa did not run. In 1980, Palarong Pambansa was substituted with another game called Palarong Bagong Lipunan. Between 1984 and 1987, the event was cancelled due to the People Power Revolution.
Misamis Oriental and Negros Occidental have hosted Palarong Pambansa four times each, more than any other provinces. Misamis Oriental hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 1975, 1977, 1978, and 1988. Negros Occidental hosted the games in 1974, 1979, 1998, and 2000. Lingayen, Pangasinan has hosted three times, in 1959, 1999, and 2012.
Starting with the 2015 edition of the games, the Palarong Pambansa Board, which was created due to the Palarong Pambansa Law signed in May 2013, otherwise known as the Palarong Pambansa Act of 2013, shall be mainly responsible for the preparation and conduct of the games. The board shall be the main policy-making and coordinating body of the annual tournament.
Some 10,000 student-athletes from the country’s 18 regions, along with sports officials, are expected to participate in this year’s games.