Cebu City to bid for Palarong Pambansa; New normal puts focus on what old normal ignored

If their first public gathering in over two years wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, those involved in the Cebu City sports porgram—the those with the Department of Education and the Cebu City Sports Commission–got more reason to celebrate. Cebu City will bid for the hosting of the Palarong Pambansa.

It was near the end of Dr. Rhoel Dejano’s informative talk on getting ready to return to sports when John Pages, who took over as CCSC chairman last month, asked simply.

“Who remembers when the last time Cebu City hosted the Palarong Pambansa?”

MOVERS IN CEBU. CCCSC chairman John Pages listens as sports medicine expert Dr. Rhoel Dejano talks about the safe return to sports in a seminar sponsored by the CCSC.

1994! Was the quick reply.

Then, John continued, “It’s been 28 years….” and you could hear the murmur starting in the background, while some were already applauding.

“I haven’t said anything yet,” he said. But when the participants finally heard the unexpected announcment, there was a long round of applause.

“Yes, we will bid for the Palarong Pambansa. It is the biggest tournament in the country,” he said. “Also, it will also give us a chance to upgrade our facilities.”

While he was saying that, I was rubbing the soles of my shoes at the surface of the Bright Academy gym—which doubles as basketball court and tennis court. I was wondering, what kind of surface/paint is this? It would be nice to have a public tennis court like this.

Will it be next year? Or the year after? I don’t know as DepEd follows a cycle and now, DepEd is still feeling its way in holding sports under Covid.

SEMINAR. Scores of coaches, teachers and sports official listen to Dr. Rhoel Dejano talk about the safe return of sports events. CCSC PHOTO

But I like this bold step taken by John. Why? In 1994, when Cebu City last hosted the Palaro, it changed how it was managed. From a tournament held in the final days of the school year, it was moved to summer, so aside from the student-athletes, their siblings and parents went with them, making it a sports tourism event before we even heard of the word.

What trend will Cebu’s second hosting of the Palaro, should it push through, start, I don’t know. But I guess, we will see.

By the way, Dr. Dejano, who has served as a sports doctor in the Rio Olympics, was very informative. I really like listening to experts like Doc Roel, who John also pointed out, is a very, very good tennis player. Experts see something that is plainly obvious but you just didn’t see.

We all hear of the new normal right? But as Doc Roel correctly pointed out, the new normal should have been just plain normal, only we neglected it. Aside from the washing of hands, the practice of having medical teams in sports events.

It should have been the practice before Covid but now Covid has forced it upon us. So I guess it’s one positive that we can take, the medical side of sports events are no longer overlooked.

He also said athletes’ screening shouldn’t discriminate those who’ve had Covid—whether mild or severe—and that decision on whether additional tests should be taken, local factors should be considered. However, I was honestly surprised when I learned that Cesafi requires athletes to have basic EKG tests (if that’s the technical term) and that in the past some athletes were discovered to have had heart issues and these were properly dealt with.

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