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2019 SEA Games

by Francis N. Tolentino

Everybody hopes that by his time, all systems go for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2019 South East Asian Games. The forthcoming biennial sports event in 2019 is the 30th edition since its first opening in 1977. Last July 15, the Philippine Sports Commission officially announced that the Philippines will be hosting the event in 2019, after initially begging off to concentrate efforts in resolving the crisis in Marawi.

The Philippine Arena in Bulacan and Clark Field in Pampanga are two of the opening and closing venues being considered by the SEA Games Organizing Committee. The world’s largest indoor arena can accommodate 51,898 sports spectators, not to mention its proximity to Metro Manila which will be the main entry and exit hub for the SEA Games delegates.

The Philippines’ last hosting of the SEA Games was way back in 2005, where Filipino athletes gathered 291 medals and ranked first among the participating Southeast Asian countries that year. Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has been tapped to orchestrate the preparations for the hosting in 2019. This early, the Secretary hopes that not only will our sports infrastructures be ready, but more so, our sports organizations, officials, and athletes will showcase the Filipino brand of unity, cooperation, and sportsmanship. Secretary Cayetano is also looking at the 2019 SEA Games hosting to serve as a springboard for our athletes towards improved performance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

As preparations for the 2019 SEA Games hosting continue, what remains crucial at this point is how the people managing Philippine sports will be able to set aside differences in order to advance our best foot forward, so to speak, as a nation dearly enamoured to sports. We can only pray and hope that this hosting will highlight and bring out the best in us – as one team, as one nation.

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