2011 Palarong Pambansa' s New Shine City of the Philippines - Dapitan City want to host Asian Games

As the 2011 Nasudnong Bugno sa Paugnat sa Kusog or  Palarong Pambansa 2011 (Philippine National Olympics Game) in Dapitan City ended, prime movers of the host region expressed belief that the “Shrine City of the Philippines” is ready for more major sports activities of such kind.

The hosts had shelled out P400 million for the endeavor, primarily on the construction of sports facilities inside the Jose Rizal Memorial State University Complex, including the track oval and the Olympic-size pool, and they intend to put it to good use.

“We look at it as investment,” Dapitan Palaro organizing committee chairman Romeo Jalosjos said in a post-Palaro press conference that was also graced by Councilor Apple Marie Agolong.

“On the short term, we plan to look for what’s available for the rest of the year, like the PRISAA, University Games, regional meets and try to host it if only to take advantage of the equipment and infrastructure that we have,” he added.

Aside from athletics and swimming venues, Dapitan City’s Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU) offers an all-purpose gymnasium and a tennis court. The football field will later be converted into a synthetic pitch to make it ready for big-time soccer tourneys. “Our mid-term plan is to seek ASEAN or Asian competitions,” he said.

Additionally, the city plans to build a three or four-storey Sports Academy complete with modern equipment and sports science facilities as well as billeting, catering to Mindanao athletes.

“Our long-term goal is to make Dapitan the Sports Capital of Mindanao. In Mindanao, we can produce strong mountain guys like (junior netter) Jeson Patrombon (from Iligan) who used Tanduay bottles for a racket and who’s now No. 9 in the world so I think we can produce national and international-caliber players,” Jalosjos said.

Agolong said the city and provincial governments are serious to promote Dapitan City both as a sports hub and a prime tourist destination, owing to its place in history as site of the exile of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and its natural beauty.

Dapitan City and its neighboring cities and provinces played host to some 10,000 athletes, coaches, officials, chaperons and guests for the weeklong Palarong Pambansa, where National Capital Region once again reigned supreme in elementary, secondary and general tally.

The annual student games goes back to Luzon for next year’s hostilities with Marikina, Laguna, and Albay among the bidding local government units.

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