Expect a historic and very memorable Southeast Asian Games when the Philippines hosts the 30th edition of the biennial conclave November 30 to December 11 in different parts of the country.
Historic, according to Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) COO Ramon “Tats” Suzara, because of the many firsts that will be featured in this, the country’s fourth time in staging the Games.
“And very memorable,” Suzara added, because we will, again, showcasing our world renowned Filipino hospitality in every possible opportunity from the time foreign delegations arrive in the country till the time of their departure.”
“This edition of the Games, not only, will be the biggest in terms of the number of sports to be contested at 56 and events at 530, we will also highlighting a few more firsts that will differ it from the first 29 editions held previously,” Suzara said on Friday’s Scoop Weekly Forum on Air.
“The latest innovation the 2019 Philippine SEA Games will feature for the first time the opening ceremonies that will go digital,” Suzara announced during the public service forum held at the Manila Times Television Studio.
“For the first time, too, the Torch Relay, one of the important segments of the inaugural rites, will be held separately but simultaneously in separate places,” he added.
“While the opening rites, parade of athletes, speeches of special guests, etc, will be held at the 55,000 seat Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, which in itself will be the biggest in history, we scheduled the torch relay to end at the Games main hub at the New Clark City main stadium, another first,” he said.
“In other words, sa opening pa lamang, dalawang event na ang mapapanood — the inaugural rites at Philippine Arena and the climax of the torch relay at New Clark City, “ Suzara exclaimed.
“Mas maraming makikita, mas maraming mapapanood. Mas masaya, di ba? he said.
To make the Games truly memorable to visitors, volunteers will be assigned to specific functional areas depending on their skill sets and interests in order to spearhead the success of the Games.
So far 9,000 strong volunteers recruited by the SEA games Volunteer Program will be trained by Phisgoc to prepare them for their tasks and responsibilities for the events proper. They are from Clark, Subic, Metro Manila, North and South Luzon as well as from other parts of the archipelago.
Volunteers, which Suzara said serve as “backbones” of the Games, will be assigned to specific functional areas of Phisgoc depending on their skill sets and interests in order to spearhead the success of the Games
Some 20,000 people who expressed interest to join the volunteering program, 14,683 of which applied through official online portals; 2,960 applicants were foreigners while 6,003 were elected by educational institutions.
Suzara stressed that preparations for the SEA games is in full swing. It is “all systems go” especially with the support of partner institutions and thousands of volunteers, with some 90 days to go before the biennial sports event unfolds on November 11
The Olympic standard main stadium at Clark, which will host athletics and aquatics competitions is in near completion and expected to be fully operational mid October.
The same with those located at other clusters in Metro Manila, Subic, Southern and Northern Luzon. The Philippine teams in track and field and swimming are currently at the venue to test the venues.
Once completed, these venues can also be available for the hosting of Asian Games and even the Olympics, Suzara assured.
“The Philippine Olymnpic Committee, I was told, is interested in bringing the 2010 Asian Games here,” he said.
A two-day meeting of technical delegates, Suzara also announced, will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, at the Manila Hotel.