Preparations are in full swing for the Western Visayas secondary girls volleyball team in their bid for back-to-back title in Palarong Pambansa.

Bannered by players from Bacolod Tay Tung High School, they repulsed three-time champion National Capital Region in the 2023 finals, 18-25, 25-20,19-25, 25-16, 18-16, to claim the victory.

In May 2024, they renewed their mastery over rivals Iloilo with a dominant 25-19, 25-12, 25-9 win carrying Negros Occidental in the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet to earn the right to defend their championship in the 2024 Palarong Pambansa slated to be held on July 6 to 17 in Cebu City.

According to Tay Tung coach Ian Macariola, the team is already at 80 to 90 percent ready for the annual national meet. They joined collegiate volleyball leagues in Manila as part of their build up to test their mettle against much taller and more experienced teams.

“Dako gid nabulig… nakita namon ang deperensya, so, pagbalik sa training sa Bacolod amo naman na ang i-focus namon kung ano kulang ta. Ang gin dala naton nga players kay younger pa compared to other teams to expose them for preparations sa Palaro,” Macariola said.

Region 6 will be without the services of 2023 Palarong Pambansa Best Middle Blocker awardee Jihan Chuatico, Best Libero Alija Ysulan and other key players in Alex Montoro, Katherine Shaine Cortez and Patricia Hiponia.

Among the holdovers for the team includes team captain and opposite spiker Jothea Ramos, Dona Mae De Leon, Camila Bartolome, and Ana Hermosura, among others.

Ramos shared with GMA Regional TV News that they need to double their efforts to be able to bring home the gold medal.

“Kailangan namin mag double effort para makuha ulit… na-experience namon nga indi kami parehas height, mas taas sila, mas magulang sila, pero need namon ipakita sa tanan nga kaya man namon,” Ramos told.

WVRAA Most Valuable Player and 1st Best Open Hitter Rhose Almendralejo is expected to anchor the team’s offense.

Winning a chip is already a tremendous achievement but repeating is a tough act to follow. Ramos bared that there was already an added pressure.

“Last year, indi siya mayo pressure tapos ang chemistry kay very good gid kay tanan ko nga upod damo gid kami na-agyan nga mga leagues pero subong damo ang nag-graduate so damo ang nagsulod sa juniors, pero gina-try ko nga i-motivate sila nga himuon lang ang dapat himuon kag confident lang gid,” Ramos explained.

As the skipper of the squad, Ramos mentioned the tough task at hand in being the role model to the younger players to lead the team.

“Indi siya hapos kay may time man nga tanan nga rules dapat sundon ko kag i-apply ko para sundon nila… as a manang ginahimo ko gid ang best ko para ma okay ang team, wala problema kag para sa game ma-apply naman kung ano amon gin-prepare,” she added.


The success of Negros Occidental in volleyball bear fruit as it produced players who are heavily recruited in top universities in Manila.

A triumph in the much-coveted Palarong Pambansa crown proved that the players from the province can compete in higher leagues and would also increase the interest of scouts from Metro Manila to recruit players from the province.

“Happy gid kay ang volleyball program diri sa Negros makilala gid nga indi lang ang NCR ang may kaya nga magdaog sa Palaro, ang probinsya may kaya man, may ibuga man nga magbato sa iban nga teams… mas taas pa gid ang demand sa mga NCR na schools or colleges na diri makwa sa Negros,” Macariola noted.

For Ramos, who is also one of the prized recruits from Bacolod, it is just proof that their hard work paid off.

“Nami nga feeling nga makwa ka sa Manila kay napagwa mo sa self mo ang tanan nga ginpangabudlayan mo,” she said.

Another player from Tay Tung who already committed to play in Manila for college is the Silay-native Hiponia. The multi-titled setter is already expected to see action for San Beda University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.