CITY OF MALOLOS- President Rodrigo Duterte officially opened the 30th Sea Games during the Opening Ceremony held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on November 30, 2019.
“For the 30th time, celebrating the games of Southeast Asia, mabuhay kayong lahat,” Duterte announced.
Before the opening, delegates from11 nations in the Southeast Asia were introduced and paraded with pride for their countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and Philippines.
When the Philippine team was called, the audience and athletes filled arena kept on singing ‘Manila’ while their cellphones’ flashlights were on to show support to the Sea Games especially to the Filipino athletes.
In his speech, Speaker and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Chairman Allan Peter Cayetano expressed his gratitude to those who believed that the Philippines can do this.
“Today we gather as brothers and sisters. We see strength, we see wisdom, we look at these young people and we see not only the athletes but we see our own future. Today, we stand tall to tell the world that in Southeast Asia there is so much diversity but we do not fear. We pray as one, we build as one, we work as one and we win as one,” Cayetano said.
Moreover, PHISGOC Vice Chairman Abraham Tolentino said that today, the country is opening the best and the biggest Sea Games in history.
“The next 11 days will be eventful, historic and full of exciting sports action. But beyond this competition we also look forward to the power of sports to unify our region and our people despite our diversity in culture, race and religion,” Tolentino said.
Meanwhile, the Federation Flag was carried by past Sea Games gold medalist and world champions in sports including Federation Flag-Sea Games gold medalist and world champs in sports including Lydia de Vega-Mercado, Akiko Thompson-Guevarra, Eric Buhain, Alvin Patrimonio, Bong Coo, Efren Bata Reyes, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco and Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno.
The Oath of Sportsmanship were led by Franchesca Altamonte who represented the athletes and Darren Vitug who represented the officials while Sen. Manny Pacquiao passed the torch to Nesthy Pelencio, boxing athlete, and later on jointly lit the cauldron.
Prior to this, Lani Misalucha sang the Lupang Hinirang and various artists entertained the crowd.
“Bongga, iba sa pakiramdam, iba talaga ang Pinoy, very unique ‘yung ceremony, nakakatayo ng balahibo, ‘yung damang dama mong Pinoy ka talaga,” Mark Salo from Bataan said.
Moreover, Freddie Socoy from Indonesia said that the event was very good, well prepared and that they enjoyed the whole time.