Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach is the muse of the Philippine delegation during the Opening Ceremony of the 30thSouth East Asian Games held at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. (PHISGOC)
Diverse. Vibrant. Patriotic. Exceptional. Unified.
Thousands of Filipinos set aside their cultural, political and personal differences as they troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 30thSouth East Asian Games (SEA Games).
It featured production numbers from Apl.de.ap, Lani Misalucha, KZ Tandingan, Elmo Magalona, Iñigo Pascual, Christian Bautista, Aicelle Santos-Zambrano, Jed Madela, TNT Boys, Anna Fegi, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group and student-performers from various colleges and universities that depicted the country’s rich cultural diversity.
Athletes from the 11 participating nations namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and the Philippines entered the Philippine Arena in a Santa Cruzan-themed parade paying homage to the Singkaban Festival of Bulacan. Each team had a muse who is a Pinay international pageant titleholder led by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
A production number focused on the Bahay Kubo during the Opening Ceremony of the 30th South East Asian Games held at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. (Mar Jay Delas Alas/PIA 3)
“Hinahanap-hanap kita Manila, ang ingay mong kay sarap sa tenga,” the crowd sang in unison as the Philippine Team entered the venue to the tune of Hotdog’s “Manila.” Attendees, including President Rodrigo Duterte himself, grooved as they cheered, clapped and waved their flags. The host nation opted to have five flag bearers namely Meggie Ochoa of jiu-jitsu, Margielyn Didal of skateboarding, EJ Obiena of pole vault, Eumir Marcial of boxing and Kiyomi Watanabe of judo.
The Sarimanok, the legendary bird of the Maranao people who originate from Mindanao, is seen during a performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 30thSouth East Asian Games held at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. (PHISGOC)
In his speech, House Speaker and Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Chairperson Alan Peter Cayetano underscored the athletes as they embody the strength, wisdom and our future. “In them, we see passion, sacrifice, discipline, teamwork and respect. Today we stand tall and tell the world that in South East Asia, there is much diversity but we don’t fear because we love God, we love our community, we love our South East Asian brothers and sisters, and through that love, we build as one, we work as one and we win as one,” he said.
For his part, Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino expressed his hope for sports to unify our people and our region despite the diversity in culture, race and religion. “Sports test our endurance and determination. Sports make us stronger, and yes, sports bring us together. As a community and as a family, we stand together anchored in the spirit of hope, unity and love for country. By the grace of our Almighty God, we win as one,” he stated.
“I Declare Open the South East Asian Games for the 30thtime, celebrating the Games of South East Asia,” declared President Duterte as the highly anticipated 2019 edition of the biennial meet opens.
Eight Filipino sports icon had the honor of carrying the SEA Games Federation Flag namely Alvin Patrimonio of basketball, Efren Reyes of billiards, Mansueto Velasco of boxing, Lydia de Vega of athletics, Bong Coo of bowling, Paeng Nepomuceno of bowling, Eric Buhain of swimming and Akiko Thomson of swimming.
Boxing legend and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao (left) and Women’s Boxing World Champion Nesthy Petecio (right) light up the 30thSEA Games cauldron at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. (PHISGOC)
Excitement spiked up and deafening shouts of applause filled the Philippine Arena as boxing icon and Senator Manny Pacquiao and Women’s Boxing World Champion Nesthy Petecio lit the cauldron followed by a scenically and vivid fireworks display that illuminated the skies of New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
This year’s SEA Games carries the theme “We Win As One.” As One Nation let us cheer for our national athletes as they compete in our home soil. Laban Pilipinas! – PIA 3