The 9th Palarong Panlungsod reeled off last May 24 to 29, 2015 after a 6-year hiatus with a glitzy Opening Program that also featured the search for 9th Palaro Games muse participated by the seven clusters. City Mayor Ismael P. Martinez, a sports patron and champion duckpin bowling athlete during his heydays, was responsible for the rebirth of the City's premier sporting event by leaving no stone unturned to get it done.
The Sports Office headed by Sports Coordinator Douglas Tijing, per instruction of City Administrator, Atty. Rene G. Gaudiel, called for a consultative meeting among the City's 28 barangay captains, who responded unanimously for the holding of the city's premier sporting event.
With the retention of the cluster membership among the 28 barangays, since it was held seven years ago, there was a sense of predictability in the games' outcome. Cluster 4 had been dominant by emerging as champion in the two preceding Palarong Panlungsod, which was attributed to the participation of athletes from Brgy. Tinago that not only comprised the majority of athletes in the cluster but also were victorious in their events. Hence, Cluster 4 was the overwhelming favorite to add another victory to its long list of triumphs in the Palaro games, but everything was about to change.
Nobody saw the handwriting on the wall as the new star of the Palaro had finally arrived to lay claim to the championship denied to them for so long. To reminisce, Cluster 6 composed of Brgy. Villareal with Dawis, Banaybanay and San Roque constantly played second fiddle to Cluster 4, composed of Brgy. Tinago, Aliis, Cansumalig and Kalamtukan in the previous holding of the games, but not this time.
On its way to the championship Cluster 6 altered the Palaro history books by dominating in men's track and field events, the ball games and table tennis to amass a total of 13 gold medals. On its heels was Cluster 4 dominant in men and women's track and field and throw events to earn 11 gold medals. Cluster 5 composed of Brgys. Poblacion, Narra, Pagatban and San Jose had also the same number of gold medals but, due to Cluster 4's substantial accumulation of silver and bronze medals to top the medal standing, the latter had to settle for 3rd place.
Amidst the heat of summer intensified by El Niño, the 9th Palarong Panlungsod was a huge success. The Palaro was not just about aspiring for excellence; it was also a vivid image of the pain and perseverance that goes with one's passion in the pursuit of personal glory. For those strong in mind, body and spirit it could be the beginning, as it always had been for aspiring athletes who made it big, towards a life changing journey to achieve greater success in life. Sport is truly a great equalizer, a privilege for the gifted and to a few and for some Bayawanons the road to discovery started at the Palarong Panlungsod.