PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Marcos on Saturday hosted a sports day for children in Malacañang, featuring basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming and eight-division boxing world champion Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Malacañang said.
Yao Ming is in the country as part of the International Basketball Federation (Fédération Internationale de Basketball or FIBA) Central Board in the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023.
During the event in Malacañang, Yao Ming and Pacquiao delivered inspiring messages for the children, according to Malacañang.
Also present during the event were Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
“Children from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Reception and Study Center for Children in Lubao, Pampanga; Bahay Kalinga in Valenzuela City, and from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) community are treated to a magic show, bubble show and snacks from various food carts,” the Palace said.
On Friday, Marcos met with the members of the FIBA Central Board and delegates from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in Malacañang, where he assured them of continuous government support.
The President said his administration has always considered sports as an essential part of the country's social development and was very happy to support all the endeavors of FIBA's Central committee.
Given the popularity of basketball in the Philippines, Marcos hoped that the Philippines' hosting of the FIBA World Cup would be a success.
Recalling his remarks during the send off for the Philippine team competing in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games earlier this week, Marcos said sports is important because it is one of the activities that is especially suitable to young people.
“And when I look, when you look at sports, and everything that it entails, I said this is one of the very few activities that we can think of from which there really is no downside,” the President said, adding it is a very significant development that FIBA comes back in the World Cup and to the Philippines.
“It's good for our discipline. It's good for our health. It's good for our learning camaraderie, learning how to be a good sport,” he added.
On Sept. 12, 2022, FIBA announced that the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia would host the FBWC 2023, the first time multiple Asian nations were selected to host the event.
This is the Philippines' second hosting of the FIBA World Cup since 1978.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net