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Amid Controversy, SEA Games Opens With a Bang

Amid Controversy, SEA Games Opens With a Bang


The 2019 Southeast Asian Games officially kicked off in at Philippine Arena yesterday in spectacular fashion. This grandiose event has featured known Filipino celebrities. A parade of the eleven participating nations and the lighting of the torch highlight the event. Amid the controversy, the 56 sports biennial event opened with a bang that can make all Filipinos proud.

SEA Games opens with a bang
Photo Credit to

The stunning ceremony depicted the rich culture of the Philippines in a modern way. Various folk dances from all over the country, with the Sarimanok, provided a suitably arresting start. Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha sang the Philippine National Anthem to the delight of the crowd. Palanca-award winning playwright Floy Quintos directed the opening production with the message of inclusivity and unity as the central theme.

SEA Games Theme is about Unity and Inclusivity

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and 2013 Miss World Megan Young were also a part of the opening number. This has added glitz and glam to the said event. When the Philippine delegation entered, the whole crowd erupted and stood in ovation. As a result, the spectators raised their flags in honor of the country while the song, Manila was being played.

Passion, sacrifice, discipline, teamwork, and respect were the highlight of the message of Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano. “We pray as one, we build as one, we work as one and we win as one”, he added. President of the Philippine Olympic Committee Abraham Tolentino said that this is the defining moment of the Philippines. This showcases to the world the best that we can offer,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte officially declared the opening of the Southeast Games for the 30th time. SEAG Federation flag was carried by the sportsmen who brought glory and honor to the country. Efren “Bata” Reyes, Lydia de Vega-Mercado, and Paeng Nepomuceno were some of the flag bearers.

Pacquia Petecio
Photo Credit to Rappler

The spotlight then fell on Senator Manny Pacquiao, who jogged into the stadium clutching the SEA Games torch. He handed it over to Nesthy Petecio as she lit up the controversial cauldron while “We Win as One” was sang by some famed Filipino singers led by Apl De Ap.


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