MANILA — It’s now the Philippines’ turn to host the biennial Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after 14 years.
This was formalized in a simple turnover ceremony on August 30 at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, following the colorful and vibrant closing ceremony of the 29th SEA Games.
Philippine government-run People’s Television (PTV) Network, the official broadcaster of the 29th SEA Games in the country, covered the closing ceremony.
The closing event kicked off with a military band performance, accompanied by SEA Games official mascots playing the drums. The regional athletes then took a final bow, marching out to a well-deserved round of applause from the crowd.
Malaysia then extinguished the SEA Games flame and handed the flag over to Philippines, which is set to host the 30th edition of the SEA Games in 2019.
SEA Games Federation president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar presented the SEA Games Federation flag to Philippines Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose Cojuangco Jr. who then handed it to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who also chairs the country’s SEA Games Organizing Committee, in a symbolic handover rite.
After the closing and turnover ceremonies, a grand party was held to celebrate the night with music and dance performances by Malaysia’s notable artists.
Over the last two weeks, more than 7,000 athletes and 2,000 officials from the region gathered in Malaysia to compete in 38 sports and 404 events. Host Malaysia topped the event with 145 gold medals, followed by Thailand and Vietnam with 72 and 58 gold medals, respectively.
PTV livestreamed the events on its social media sites, like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
“We have a full featured online site that has multiple live streams of different games and video on demand. A first of its kind for sports coverage in the country,” Dino Apolonio, General Manager of PTV, said.
This is in addition to PTV’s regular free-to-air broadcast where the station dedicated prime time block to feature the games of the 29th SEA Games.
“Our coverage, for the longest time, is comprehensive. We modified our programming grid to bring the games to the people. Not just in sports that are popular in the Philippines, but highlighted other less popular sports where the Philippines was competing. We have showed our dedication and commitment in covering the 2017 SEAG,” Apolonio said underscoring that “aside from popular sports like basketball, boxing, and football, PTV also featured non-popular sports which do not usually get too much attention from sports fans.”
“We will be discussing with the POC and the organizing committee about our role for the 30th SEAG in 2019. We will embrace whatever role that may be and execute with the same enthusiasm as we did here,” Apolonio added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella expressed his praises to the Filipino athletes. “The Palace wishes to extend our congratulations to the Filipino athletes who competed and brought honor in the recently-concluded Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” he said, adding that the country vows to put on a good show for all the sports fans and enthusiasts all over the region in the next SEA Games. The Philippines came in 6th place in the 29th SEA Games, with 24 gold, 33 silver, and 64 bronze medals.
This will be the fourth time the Philippines will host the 11-nation multi-sports meet. The Philippines hosted the SEA Games in 1981, 1991, and 2005, with its best performance in 2005 when the country claimed the overall championship in that year. (PCO-Content)