The Southeast Asian Games 2005 formally opened last night at the Quirino Granstand, Manila. Like advertised, the event was a low-budget affair, but it didn’t reflect on the impressive show put on by the host country, the Philippines. It was the perfect union of austerity with pomp and pageantry. A festive mood was in the air all throughout the event, punctuated by the stirring performance of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra. (You can just feel the music beating with your heart.)
I loved how the event was held — from the stage set-up to the climactic torch-lighting to the presence of Ati-Atihan dancers to Rivermaya’s once-in-a-lifetime co-performance with the Orchestra. The fireworks could’ve been better, but who cares when you’ve got the beautiful backdrop of Manila Bay?The SEA Games, a biennial meet which started in 1959 (as the SEA Peninsular Games), will run from November 27 to December 5. The host country is aiming for the overall championship, something never before achieved (closest was the 91-gold medal finish back at the 1991 Manila SEA Games, second to Indonesia’s 92).
By the looks of it, the Philippines is off to a good start, already bagging 23 gold medals after Day 2 of hostilities, rather, competition. For the latest medal tally and updates, do visit the Games’ official website. Trace College, the Games’ official sponsor, has done well with the site, though some of the links are broken. Websites for the Cebu and Bacolod areas of the Games are definitely also worth visiting.
As for me, the Games fever has hit me (and hit me hard). I’ve been glued to the idiot box since last night’s opening, forgetting the schoolwork just to witness the Filipinos’ inspiring fight for the championship. Let’s all hope and pray for an early Christmas gift for the nation, shall we?
Go for gold, Team Philippines! Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino!
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