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|Motto||Discipline, Teamwork, Excellence|
|First event||Manila, Philippines|
|Last event||4–9 May 2015 Tagum, Davao del Norte|
The Palarong Pambansa (Filipino for "National Games") is an annual multi-sport event involving student-athletes from 18 regions of the Philippines. The event, started in 1948, is organized and governed by the Department of Education or DepEd.
Student-athletes from public and private schools at elementary and secondary levels can compete provided they qualified by winning at their regional meet. For young Filipino student-athletes, Palarong Pambansa is the culmination of school sports competition, which start with local school intramurals, followed by the congressional district, provincial, and regional athletic meets.
The objectives of the Palaro are:
- To promote Physical Education and sports as an integral part of the Basic Education curriculum for holistic development of the youth;
- Inculcate the spirit of discipline, teamwork, excellence, fair play, solidarity, sportsmanship, and other values inherent in sports;
- Promote and achieve peace by means of sports;
- Widen the base for talent identification, selection, recruitment, training and exposure of elementary pupils and secondary students to serve as a feeder to the National Sports Association (NSA) for international competitions; and
- Provide a database for a valid and universal basis to further improve the school sports development programs.
The legal basis of the Palarong Pambansa is stipulated in the provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution Article XIV, Section 19.
The first game was held in Manila in 1948. Before it was called Palarong Pambansa, it was dubbed as Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games or BPISAA. It continued yearly until it was cancelled in 1957 because of the death of President Ramon Magsaysay. In 1958, Tagbilaran, Bohol hosted the 10th edition of the game. The game was again cancelled in 1972 when President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. In 1973, the last BPISAA which was held in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
In 1974, the Bureau of Public Schools-Interscholastic Athletics Association Games was renamed Palarong Pambansa.
In 1980, 1984-1987 and 1999 Palarong Pambansa did not run. In 1980 Palarong Pambansa was substituted with another game called Palarong Bagong Lipunan. Between 1984 and 1987 the event's cancellation was due to the People Power Revolution.
Misamis Oriental and Negros Occidental have hosted Palarong Pambansa four times each, more than any other provinces. Misamis Oriental hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 1975, 1977, 1978 and 1988. Negros Occidental hosted the games in 1974, 1979, 1998 and 2000. Lingayen, Pangasinan has hosted three times, in 1959, 1999 and 2012.
Starting with the 2015 edition of the games, the Palarong Pambansa Board, which was created due to the Palarong Pambansa Law signed in May 2014, shall be mainly responsible for the preparation and conduct of the games. The board shall be the main policy-making and coordinating body of the annual tournament.
The regions participating in the annual Palarong Pambansa has become bigger as some regions have split. For instance, Southern Tagalog Regional Athletics Association (STRAA) represented the 10 provinces of Southern Tagalog in the later Palarong Pambansa. But it was divided into two which is now Region 4-A or the CALABARZON region and Region 4-B or the MIMAROPA region. Both are taking part in Palarong Pambansa as different teams or regions.
Creation of administrative and autonomous regions such as Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera Administrative Region and splitting of big region into new regions like the Southern Mindanao, Central Visayas and Western Visayas causes more teams. All these reasons made the 18 regions participating in Palarong Pambansa.
A color coding system was introduced to uniquely identify each region based on their designated colors. Here are the participating regions with their assigned colors.
|ARMMAA||Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao|
|CARAA||Cordillera Administrative Region|
|NCRAA||National Capital Region|
|IRAA||Region I or Ilocos Region|
|CAVRAA||Region II or Cagayan Valley|
|CLRAA||Region III or Central Luzon|
|STCAA||Region IV-A or Southern Tagalog - CALABARZON|
|MRAA (MIMAROPAA)||Region IV-B or Southern Tagalog - MIMAROPA|
|BRAA||Region V or Bicol Region|
|WVRAA||Region VI or Western Visayas|
|CVRAA||Region VII Central Visayas|
|EVRAA||Region VIII or Eastern Visayas|
|ZPRAA||Region IX or Zamboanga Peninsula|
|NMRAA||Region X or Northern Mindanao|
|DAVRAA||Region XI or Davao Region|
|SRAA||Region XII or SOCCSKSARGEN|
|CARAGA||Region XIII or CARAGA|
|NIRAA||Region XVIII or Negros Island Region|
Currently there are 20 sports disciplines and a special event being contested at the Palarong Pambansa. With the exception of archery (which is not played at the elementary level), competition at the events and disciplines are at the elementary and secondary levels.
The Department of Education will plan to add more events by 2017, particularly for the people with special needs, including the 50-meter and 100-meter runs for athletics and chess for the blind.
- 1 Hosting of Palarong Pambansa is from Luzon and then Visayas and then back to Luzon and then Mindanao. This order will be repeated. If Visayas have no bids to host the Palaro, then Mindanao will have the rights to host and/or vice versa. If Luzon have no bids, Metro Manila will be going to host the Palaro.
- 2 Negros Island Region (NIR) is a newly created region in 2015 which consists of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. Any existing previous list and records should be counted for the previous regions they are affiliated with otherwise, their records and statistics should be counted for their present region at the time of their creation unless otherwise specified.
- 3 In 2016, the Department of Education (DepEd) used the Olympic Medal System in determining the championship title and ranking position of each region. 
List of hosts
|Host Province||Event Hosted|
|Negros Occidental (R-6) a||5|
|Metro Manila (NCR)b||4|
|Misamis Oriental (R-10)||4|
|Camarines Sur (R-5)||4|
|Ilocos Sur (R-1)||2|
|Zamboanga del Sur (R-9)||2|
|South Cotabato (R-12)c||2|
|Zamboanga del Norte (R-9)||2|
|Davao del Sur (R-11)||1|
|Misamis Occidental (R-10)||1|
|Ilocos Norte (R-1)||1|
|Surigao del Norte (R-13)||1|
|Lanao del Norte (R-10)||1|
|Negros Oriental (R-7) a||1|
|Davao del Norte, (R-11)||1|
|Host Region||Event Hosted|
|Western Visayas (R-6) a||9|
|Northern Mindanao (R-10)||6|
|Ilocos Region (R-1)||6|
|Bicol Region (R-5)b||6|
|National Capital Region (NCR)||4|
|Central Visayas (R-7) a||4|
|Zamboanga Peninsula (R-9)||4|
|Cagayan Valley (R-2)||3|
|Eastern Visayas (R-8)||3|
|Central Luzon (R-3)||2|
|Davao Region (R-11)||2|
|Caraga Region (R-13)||1|
|Host Inter-Island||Event Hosted|
|Luzon (NCR)a||28 (4)|
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