Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao hailed the decision for the country’s hosting the 2019 Southeast Asian Games as giving the Philippines another opportunity to open a new chapter in the region’s unity and solidarity.
“The acceptance by the Philippines of an offer to host the 30th staging of the SEA Games is a clear manifestation of our d4wire to maintain our commitment to the ideals for which the Games was founded, a chance given us thrice before,” Pacquiao said in a message sent to this writer yesterday.
“And our acceptance only mean our willingness to again test our reputed brilliance to handle and administer an affair this huge para lang maipakitang muli ang ating pakiki-isa sa sampung iba pang miyembrong bansa dito sa Southeast Asia,” the former Sarangani congressman now senator said.
“And that nothing would be allowed to get in the way of the Filipinos’ world renowned hospitality,” the soon-to-be 39-year-old Pacquiao remarked.
Pacquiao said that, again, with the cooperation of both the public and private sectors, he has no doubt that the Philippines will come out with flying colors in staging the event here and earn more respect worldwide.
“I would like to thank President Rodrigo Duterte and all the responsible people, Sec. Allan Peter Cayetano of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philipoine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez for making our hosting possible,” he quipped
“It could give happiness to our countrymen who, I believe are now egging to see our athletes strut their wares anew against their peers from our neighboring countries,” Pacquiao said.
“With what have been happening nowadays to our country – bagyo, lindol, at giyera, Kailangang-kailangan nt ating mga kababayan ang isang mapapagkalibangan tulad ng SEA Games,” he observed.
EDDIE G. ALINEA