Fair Play: Palaro in Cebu in 2016? Quit dreaming

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Nov. 8 edition)
SORRY to burst your bubble, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for Cebu City to host the 2016 Palarong Pambansa.

A few weeks ago, I would have agreed that the hosting would be the best thing to happen to the Cebu City sports landscape since, well, the 1994 Palarong Pambansa but not anymore.

You want to showcase Cebu City’s best facets with the Palaro? Good luck with that! So, stop dreaming and forget about that.

Why the change of mind? Well, it all started with the Cebu City council axing the P70 million dredging and de-clogging project authored by Councilors Gerardo Carillo, Noel Wenceslao, Roberto Cabarrubias, Dave Tumulak and Hanz Abella.

And what does that have to do with the city’s hosting of the Palaro?


The Palaro hosting needs money, lots and lots of it. And 2016 being an election year, do you think in the months prior that, when the City is preparing for the meet, members of the City Council would set aside their political differences and work for the good of the Palarong Pambansa? To make sure that the City’s best face—and indirectly Mayor Mike Rama’s—is showcased in the country’s biggest sporting meet?

They will unite? Yeah right, and I’m Santa Claus and you can have your iPhone 6 when I drop by your bedroom this Christmas. If you have beer and chips, I’d add a Samsung S5.

You already forgot how political colors can influence a sports meet? Don’t you remember what happened the last time it did? Well, Jonathan Guardo ended up in jail years after the Southeast Asian Games right? In a nutshell, it was because of this—Cebu City asked for funds from the PSC for infrastructure, which was already in place. The funds were released and Guardo spent it for operations. Boom, malversation and Guardo said hello to a night behind bars years later.

Besides in 1994, when Cebu last hosted the Palarong Pambansa, was there a Team Rama, or any other party aside from BOPK for that matter?

So, you still want to proceed with the hosting of the Palarong Pambansa?
With a council that can’t even agree among themselves—even among partymates—to address something as vital as flood control?

What happens when Mike Rama proposes the construction of a new venue and asks for a couple of hundred million? Or when he asks for a hundred million for the complete refurbishment of the Cebu City Sports Center?

Would the City Council be still arguing about it when the first delegation arrives?

To successfully hold such a massive undertaking, the City Council needs to share one vision and one goal. And of course, there is that undeniable fact, a successful hosting means one man would get all the credit—Mike Rama.

And during an election year, would all the members of the City Council work for that?

Together—BOPK, Team Rama and Independent Bloc can make the Palaro happen? Or would all their moves and counter moves—all together—make sure nothing happens?

They will unite for the Palaro that will be held a couple of weeks before the election? Yeah, right and I’m Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball. Or Father Christmas, take your pick.

HEAD-SHAKER. So, Chot Reyes, if we are to believe the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, wasn’t fired from Gilas Pilipinas. He is still there.

SBP just formed a committee looking for a new coach.

Remind me what happened to the guy who told his girlfriend, “You’re still my girlfriend, I’m just looking for a new one.”


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