Zambales provincial administrator Jun Omar Ebdane, who is the overall chairman of the sports festival, said a huge number of participants signed up for various events last week that organizers now have to set a limit on competitors.
“Our festival is still young, so to speak, that is why we have to keep the numbers to a manageable limit,” Ebdane said on why they imposed a cutoff.
“This is really heartening, and overwhelming at the same time, that a lot of athletes showed interest in our sports fest. It means that our province is now gaining recognition as a destination for such events,” added Ebdane.
The multi-sports festival was organized by the office of Gov. Hermogenes “Jun” Ebdane Jr. to develop a tourism niche for the province and thereby help local communities earn additional income.
The sports events, as well as other related competitions like a photo contest and a bikini competition, will be held against the backdrop of Potipot Island, dubbed as the “Boracay of Zambales” because of its white, powdery sand.
Gov. Ebdane said the development of the province’s sports tourism industry is a major thrust of his administration, as Zambales has many untapped destinations for adventure sports enthusiasts.
“Sports tourism is the type of industry we want to promote here, as it bodes well for our tourism development thrust, which aims to attract more long-term visitors,” the governor said.
The first day of the festival will start with a 120-km cycling race from Uacon to the capital town of Iba, and back.