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2016 Palaro in Albay to become a sports tourism event
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has approved a P700-million budget for the 2016 Palarong Pambansa, with host Albay committing to put up a counterpart fund of P150 million.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said half of the budget approved by the President has already been released for the construction of sports facilities, among them the Albay Sports Complex in Guinobatan town, the games’ main venue.

The facility will have an international standard track oval and grandstand.

The Albay Palaro will be rolled out as a sports tourism event, the first time in the history of the national games. The event will be a source of additional revenue for the host province with the influx of tourists during the games, Salceda said.

Salceda said about 15,000 athletes and officials from the country’s 17 regions are expected to join the Palaro.

Aside from playing host, Albay also hopes to improve on its ninth-place finish in the 2014 Palaro in Laguna, where it garnered five of the nine golds earned by the region. Albay hopes to fare well in the May 3-9 Palaro this year in Tagum City.

In line with its tourism program, the host province will spread Palaro’s 21 events around the province to give participants and visitors a chance to explore Albay’s best tourism destinations and specialties.

“My guideline to Team Albay, the Palarong Pambansa 2016 technical working group, is to design a multi-venue layout, that shall distribute participants in different sports sites around the province so they can also enjoy our global standard tourism sites while competing,” Salceda said.

As a leading province in the country’s travel and tourism, Albay figured prominently in the March 10-13, 2015 Marche International Proffesionels d’Immobilier at the Palais de Festivals in Cannes, France.

The province has been featured in many national and international travel marketing fairs, including the Berlin ITB 2012, the London WTM 2013, the Shanghai ITM 2013, and the Department of Tourism promotions in Hong Kong in 2014.  

The modernized sports facilities will be viable and sustainable for Albay since they can host future big international events like the Southeast Asian Games, Salceda added.

The games facilities will sport locally inspired designs, drawing ideas from Albay’s iconic products.

For instance, the Albay Sports Complex main arena will feature Abaca Weave and Pili Nut-inspired designs; the Oas Arena, with a “Puto”-inspired ambience and “Coco Coir” finish; and the gymnastic events building, with a “Pinangat”-inspired images.

In Daraga town, the Bagumbayan Gym will also be reconstructed and the historic Daraga Covered Court restored into a park.

The park was formerly known as the Ninoy Park in honor of Ninoy Aquino. Here, President Aquino, first sought the help of Albayanos in the quest for justice for his slain father.

ABACA WEAVE AND PILI NUT ALBAY ALBAY GOV ALBAY PALARO ALBAY SPORTS COMPLEX BAGUMBAYAN GYM PALARO PALARONG PAMBANSA PRESIDENT AQUINO SALCEDA
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