CEBU CITY — The Palarong Pambansa will return to the north next year as Ilocos Norte will host the annual multi-sports event for grade school athletes.

“It has been nearly 60 years since the last hosting of our province, we are very grateful for the hosting,” said Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon, who is currently here accompanying the Ilocos Region delegation.

The former Gintong Alay project director said centerpiece athletics and medal-rich swimming along with several events would be staged in Ilocos Norte capital, Laoag, with the rest to be spread across the province.

The city will have the newly built Narciso Ramos Sports Complex, which will have an Olympic-size track and field oval and a swimming pool.

“As much as possible, I want most of the games to be held in the capital city that is Laoag,” he said.

The last time the city hosted the meet was in 1968, or more than half a century back, and it would be fitting that it returns during the presidency of one of its sons — President Marcos.

Mr. Keon, of course, is a first cousin of the chief executive, who has been a vocal and active sports supporter, while the province’s current governor, Matthew Manotoc, is their nephew. — Joey Villar