Puerto Princesa mayor Lucilo Bayron said the city has reopened to accept tourists, however, it is not yet ready to host big events this year, except for the two major activities that are scheduled.

Bayron explained that except for the Ironman 70.3 race and the Subaraw Festival, which are both scheduled in November, no other major events are lined up in the city.

“For this year, ito lang talaga ang pinaghahandaan natin. Yung iba kasi, maliliit na local event lang natin like sa last Saturday ng July, magkakaroon tayo ng Balayong Tree Planting and Nurturing Festival and itutuloy na natin yong Pista y ang Kagueban, mga local event lang yan. Pero kung international or national event, walang iba maliban dito sa Subaraw Festival at itong Ironman,” Bayron said during the press conference for the launching of Ironman challenge on Monday.

“Baka sa mga susunod na taon, kasi kung nakikita niyo, the City of Puerto Princesa is preparing to host sporting events kaya nga ang ating sports complex, halos kumpleto na yan. Maipagmamalaki natin na sa ibang cities, yong mga venue ng event ay palipat-lipat, malalayo, pero dito sa atin, isang area lang sila na magiging conducive sa pag-host ng sporting event,” he added.

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile, acting City Sports Office (CSO) director Atty. Gregorio Austria said that seven months before the race, the city government has enough time to prepare for the Ironman challenge slated on November 13.

Austria explained that while there are lots of things to consider, he believes they can make it in time.

“This is a challenge dahil ang laki ng requirements at standard na sini-set ng Ironman and we have to address that. But from now until November, we have ample time. Definitely, we have to recheck our roads, the swimming area, yung dadaanan ng run,” Austria said.

“We also have a constant briefings sa barangay officials na dadaanan ng race. All of that, we have to look into dahil yung preparation na nakikita ko would really take even a year. So sa preparations, lahat ng kasama natin dito ay nagkakaroon kami lagi ng briefing,” he added.

Assistant City Tourism Office (CTO) officer Demetrio Alvior, on the other hand, said they have already started contacting different tourism establishments, also in preparation for the influx of tourists, particularly participants of the race.

He said souvenir stores and tourism destinations are also in the process of preparing for the event.

“Right now, we are preparing locally made souvenir items, in coordination with different agencies – the office of agriculture and the vice mayor. These items are, talagang pagnakita, tatak Puerto Princesa talaga sya,” Alvior said.

“As what Atty. Austria said, we have ample time to prepare. Ultimately, we have already opened since December, so right now, yung ating accommodation, ang requirement is at least 2,000 rooms. Puerto Princesa can offer 5,000 rooms and there are new hotels opening. So in terms of preparation, tuloy-tuloy lang tayo and I’m sure that before November ay ready na ang Puerto Princesa with the support of our tourism sector,” he added.

City administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa also said an executive order has been issued creating different committees that will handle all the aspects of the event and concerned offices will also be directed to prepare venues for the event.

The Subaraw Festival is conducted every year on November 11 to commemorate the Puerto Princesa Underground River’s designation as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

The word Subaraw comes from the words, suba (river) and taraw (limestone cliff).

The Ironman 70.3 triathlon, which is scheduled on November 13, is a new brand added to the race calendar in Asia. Around 1,600 participants are expected to arrive in the city from other parts of the country and the world.

It will begin with a 1.9-kilometer swim from the city baywalk park in Puerto Princesa, followed by a 90-kilometer scenic three-loop ride from the southern part of the city to the Iwahig Bridge.

The 21.1-kilometer run will lead participants along the bay to the city center, allowing them to enjoy in some of the best views before arriving at the Ramon Mitra Jr. Sports Complex for their IRONMAN 70.3 finish.

Previous articleLPA sighted 95 kms southeast of Puerto Princesa, delivering rains over Palawan
Next articleModerate with occasional heavy rains affecting PPC, seven Palawan municipalities