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Indigenous Peoples Games set for return in Palawan

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), in coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), will continue its mandate to preserve cultural and traditional games in the country with the staging of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Games this weekend at the Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Through the Office of PSC Commissioner Matthew “Fritz” Gaston and in coordination with the Provincial Sports Office, the IP Games are back face-to-face for the first time in the post-pandemic years with nine tribes playing in eight disciplines from November 18-19.

“It’s our mandate to preserve, promote, and propagate the rich cultural heritage of our Indigenous Peoples as embodied in the Republic Act (RA) 8371. This is my second time to be involved in IP Games face-to-face. Although yung una kay Com. Bong Coo yun dahil sa Women’s Sports activity sa Benguet,” said Gaston during the special session of the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports Inc. (TOPS) “Usapang Sports’ at the PSC Conference Room in Malate, Manila on Thursday.

“Our big challenges are coordination with the tribe leaders. But with the help of the NCIP and local officials of the province of Palawan, nakausap natin ang lahat and after a series of meeting naisaayos natin ang lahat and all system go for the return of IP Games,” added Gaston in the forum supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Behrouz Persian Cuisine and Pocari Sweat.

The last time the IP Games was held was in 2021. The event was recorded for documentary purposes by the Office of the Commissioner Charles Maxey.

The nine participating tribes are Molbog, Palaw’an, Tagbanua Central, Tagbanua Tandolanen, Tabuana Calamianen, Batak, Cuyonon, Agutaynen and Cagayanen. They will compete in the Games of Pana, Sibat, Supok, Pagbayo as Palay, Santik, Trumpo and Kadang-Kadang.

“Currently, we listed 196 tribe members to compete. We expected na madagdagan ito during the Games proper,” Gaston said.

The creation of the Indigenous Peoples Games (IPG) of the Commission is in accordance with the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s appeal for the