In 1948, the national games for public elementary and high schools in the Philippines started with Manila as the host and were aptly named Bureau of Public Schools Interscholastic Athletic Association or BPSIAA.
From 1948 to 1956, the games were hosted by different regions and cities on an annual basis and in 1957, the games were cancelled due to the untimely death of the Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay.
The games resumed in 1959, again hosted by the different regions and cities on a yearly basis until 1971 with Vigan, Ilocos Sur as the games host. When then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972, the games were cancelled, once more resuming in 1974 changing the national games’ name from BPSIAA to Palarong Pambansa.
The first to host the “Palaro” was the city of Bacolod followed by the different regions and cities from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In 1980, the Palarong Pambansa was substituted by national games called Palarong Bagong Lipunan administered by Ministry of Youth and Sports Development with Marikina as the host. The Palarong Pambansa resumed at Tuguegarao in 1981, Dipolog City hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 1982 and Tacloban City in 1983.
The games were yet again cancelled from 1984 to 1986 because of the peace and order situation brought about by the political turmoil in the country. When President Corazon Aquino assumed office after a blood-less coup, the games of Palarong Pambansa resumed its operation in 1988 after the participation of Out of School Youth was removed. Cagayan de Oro as host, Lucena City in Quezon hosted the 1989 games, Pampanga in1990, Iloilo in 1991, Zamboanga in 1992, Isabela in 1993, Cebu in 1994, Pangasinan in 1995, Socsargen in 1996, Camarines Sur in 1997, and Bacolod City in the Philippine’s Centennial Year in 1998. Last time the tertiary division participated College and University students were taken care of CHED.
The year 1999 saw the cancellation again of the Palarong Pambansa due to the issuance executive order no. 81 by President Estrada which transfers the sports functions of DepEd to PSC. Bacolod City, for the second straight time hosted the Palaro when it resumed in 2000. The following year, the games were not played because PSC doesn’t have the funds.
In 2002, Naga City hosted the games while Lanao Norte hosted in 2003. The games were halted again in 2004 due to RA NO. 9155 abolition of DepEd Bureau of Physical Education and School Sports DECS become DepED but resumed the following year with Iloilo as the host. Year 2006 saw the hosting of Naga City 2007 Koronadal, Puerto Princesa in 2008 and Tacloban City in 2009.
Next year, the biggest sports spectacle in the country will be hosted by the province of Tarlac on April 11-17.
The 53rd edition of the Palarong Pambansa will be hosted by the Province of Tarlac. Governor Victor A. Yap and the Tarlaqueños are proud and honored to welcome all the delegates from the 17 regions of the Philippines.