Malacañang praised the organizers, volunteers, and the other people who made a “job exceedingly done” in organizing the formal launch of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Saturday night, November 30, 2019.
“The opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games was a sight to behold. Such a delight to watch a night where all Filipinos, regardless of age, social or political status and location, went in droves to show their support to the country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“The Office of the President congratulates the organizers, performers, volunteers, and everyone behind yesterday night’s spectacular event, the first SEA Games launched in an indoor venue, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, for a job exceedingly well done,” he added.
Saturday night, President Rodrigo Duterte officially declared the opening of the 2019 SEA Games, which the country is hosting for the fourth time. The Philippines also hosted in 1981, 1991, and 2005.
Duterte, along with thousands of Filipino spectators, swayed to the beat of the iconic song “Manila” by Filipino band Hotdog which was played during the parade of more than 1,000 Philippine athletes competing for the SEA Games.
During the opening ceremony, Phisgoc chair and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured the 11 participating countries that: “We build as one, we work as one, we win as one.”
‘Superb’ SEA Games opening elates PRRD
Panelo believed the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee or Phisgoc treated the spectators to grandiose opening rites that officially kicked off the 11-day multi-sports event.
He said the formal launch impressed the global audience with the country’s “impressive” stage design and production, “mesmerizing fireworks display, and Filipino talents’ “world-class” performances.
Panelo said the President was “happy” with the preparations made by the organizers.
“Napakaganda ng performance ng mga palabas. World-class kumbaga ang presentasyon. Natutuwa ang Pangulo sa nakita niya kahapon (The performances are excellent. The presentation was world-class. The President was elated by what he witnessed last night),” he said in an interview over dzIQ.
PH ‘ready’ for SEA Games
Prior to the formal opening of SEA Games, the Philippines’ readiness as host for the 30th edition was questioned after foreign athletes experienced troubles when it comes to logistical issues.
But Panelo stressed that the “superb” opening of the event merely proves that the Phisgoc is more than prepared in handling the biennial multi-sports event.
“Nakapapanindig balahibo. There was a feeling of excitement, happiness habang pumapasok yung delegates. Lahat ng tao ay nagsisigawan at nagiindakan. Masaya (The event gave us goose bumps. There was a feeling of excitement, happiness during the parade of the delegates. All were shouting and dancing. It was fun),” he said.
“We have to congratulate the organizers for the superb opening of the SEA Games,” Panelo added.
Panelo said the country is ready for this year’s SEA Games competitions, especially since it has the biggest delegation among the 11 participating nations.
“Eh ang dami natin eh. ‘Yung venue, parang walang katapusan. Mahigit 1,000 yata (We have the biggest delegation. We dominated the venue. There are over 1,000 athletes),” the Palace official said.
“Kung ‘yun ‘yung mga athletes natin, it only means one thing, ibig sabihin, marami tayong sinalihan, sasalihan na mga sports, mga games. Ganoon kahanda ang delegation ng Pilipinas (If that’s the number of athletes, it only means one thing, we will join many competitions. The Philippine delegation is ready),” he added.
Winning Filipino athletes lauded
Panelo also commended the Filipino athletes who have so far garnered 15 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals at the start of the Games action in different venues in Metro Manila, Subic, and at the New Clark City Sports Hub in Capas, Tarlac.
Panelo was convinced that the athletes draw their inspiration from Filipino’s overwhelming support when the 30th edition of the SEA Games kicked off at the 50,000-seat Philippine Arena.
“We have to congratulate our Filipino athletes for that. Talagang nakaka-inspire naman saka maganda ang preparasyon eh (The country’s preparation is really inspiring). There is no substitute for preparation and any competition,” the Palace official said in an interview over dzIQ.
Panelo also expressed confidence that the athletes from the 11 foreign participating nations of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will leave the Philippines with “beautiful memories forever etched in their hearts.”
“The Palace hopes that this event extraordinaire sets the tone for the handling of the Games until our foreign guests leave the country, bringing with them beautiful memories forever etched in their hearts,” he said.
Media praised for ‘truthful, accurate’ coverage
Panelo also took time to thank the media for writing “truthful and accurate” reports about the formal opening of SEA Games.
He made the remarks as he earlier lamented the spread of “fake” news on the country’s hosting of the sports meet to humiliate the Duterte administration.
The Palace official likewise cited the article published by Singapore-based The Straits Times which highlighted that “It took just two hours to wipe away a week’s worth of bad headlines.”
“Undoubtedly, the ceremony demonstrated the redoubtable ability of the Philippines to host the biggest sporting events in the world and entertain our foreign guests with the kind of merriment that we Filipinos excel and are famous for,” he said.
“We commend the local media outfits, as well as writers and bloggers in social media, for reporting with accuracy the success of the ceremony. Such truthful and accurate reportage contributed to the pride of all Filipinos as they express their sentiments in cheering for our athletes and our country,” Panelo added.
Critics’ rants vs. SEA Games’ opening ignored
Despite the successful opening of the biennial sports meet, critics have claimed that it turned out to be a “local funfair.”
Panelo, however, debunked the oppositions’ claim.
“Ano ba yung ibig nilang sabihin ng perya? I disagree with them. Ang ganda nga ng pagkaka-sayaw. World class nga eh. (What do they mean it looked like a local funfair? I disagree with them. The dance performances were world-class),” he said.
“Kaya ‘yung mga kritikong yun, wala lang magawa ‘yun kundi mamintas. Siguro wala sila roon. The critics are just finding fault because have nothing to say. Perhaps, they are not there),” he added.
On Friday, Duterte apologized for the “unintentional” lapses that plagued the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th SEA Games.
The President also guaranteed that he would order the conduct of an investigation to determine the possible account The President also guaranteed that he would order the conduct of an investigation to determine the possible accountability of Phisgoc over SEA Games’ blunders. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, PNA)