CEBU CITY - President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Senator Manny Pacquaio head the star-studded guest list as the Philippine National Games (PNG) 2018 kicks off at 3 p.m. today at the Cebu City Sports Center here.
This was bared by Cebu City Sports Commission manager Ricky Ballesteros, who also heads the opening and closing ceremonies, in a statement furnished to the media yesterday.
Ballesteros said, “The opening will set the mood of the PNG. It’s a never been seen presentation in any National Games Opening Ceremony. We prepared a high-tech , fast-paced and a very colorful show featuring the best of Cebu ‘s talent.”
He said that the opening will a memorable event that the athletes will cherish for the rest of their lives.
PSC Commisisoner Ramon Fernandez, oversight commissioner in charge of the PNG, will lead the lighting of the urn with selected past, current and future Olympians and world-class Filipino athletes the likes of boxing brothers Roel Velasco and Manuel "Onyok" Velasco, four-time tenpin bowling world champion Bong Coo, World 10-Ball champion Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Diaz, long jump queen Elma Muros Posadas, taekwondo’s Rep. Mansour del Rosario and Asia’s first chess grand master Eugene Torre.
Diaz will also lead the oath of sportsmanship.
The two-part opening program of the Games, also considered as the Olympics of Philippine Sports, will be ushered in by Cebu’s finest mass dancers as well as the traditional entry of colors and parade of delegations.
PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, will give his welcome remarks during the second part before President Duterte will deliver his keynote address.
Spectators and delegates, however, are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages, water bottles above 500ml, canned drinks, glass bottls, drugs, sharp objects, cigarettes, umbrella, big bags and big buckles.
Security is expected to be tight around and within the sports center.
Davao City is also fielding a lean-but-mean delegation of about 150 athletes, coaches and officials.
It is interesting to note that Manila-based Dabawenyos were recalled to represent the city in the PNG in some events.
Newly-crowned chess international master John Marvin Miciano of Far Eastern University, in a Facebook interview, said despite limited time and resources for preparations, he hopes to put up a strong finish in the Games.
“I do hope to play well in this event. PNG po kasi is one of the events where the members of the national pool are being evaluated,” 17-year-old Miciano told Sun.Star Davao.
Chess will be played at Robinson’s Galleria starting Monday. The rest of the events are arnis, athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, dancesports, judo, karatedo, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, beach volleyball and volleyball.