The highly-anticipated 2024 Palarong Pambansa returned to Cebu City after 30 years and welcomed at least 10,000 athletes and coaches from 17 regions during the opening ceremony on July 9, 2024.

The last time the Queen City of the South hosted the annual multi-sporting event was in 1994.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. graced the opening ceremony on July 9. He described the event as a training ground for young Filipinos.

“This event is more than just an inter-school, inter-regional competition. it is also a platform where we discover, where we develop, and hone future professional athletes, Olympians, and servant leaders,” he said in a speech.

Delegates including match officials showcased different gimmicks in the opening parade from Osmeña Boulevard to the Cebu City Sports Center.

Palarong Pambansa 2023 Gold Medalist Mitchloni Dinaunao led the athletes in the Oath of Sportsmanship while World Athletics Referee Jeanette Obiena spearheaded the oath for Technical Officials and Coaches.

According to the Department of Education (DepEd), the National Academy of Sports and Philippine Schools Overseas will also compete as guest delegations.

Competitions will take place across different playing venues in Cebu City, Talisay City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue until July 16, 2024.

Among the sports the athletes will compete in includes Archery, Arnis, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Billiards, Boxing, Chess, Dancesport, Football, Gymnastics, Pencak Silat, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richard Bachmann were also present during the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Vice President Sara Duterte who was reported to attend the opening ceremony was. not present at the sports center.

She was captured in photos visiting athletes and coaches who are confined in the hospital.