FILIPINOS should rally behind the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games organizers instead of pointing fingers at them.
According to a press release, for one, the organizers have already apologized for the isolated logistical problems that some SEA Games participants experienced.
Some of the participants have even acknowledged that these things actually happen in an event involving thousands of people.
“It wasn’t ideal... but things happen. It’s time to move on and just focus on the soccer,” Cambodia head coach Felix Dalmas said.
In the first place, the inconveniences were not even the fault of the committee or of the hotels, revealed the official statement of Century Park Hotel Manila, which is one of the official residences of the players and delegates from different countries from November 23, December 11, 2019.
Century Park Hotel Manila said the details of the change in the arrival of a football team, for example, were relayed late to the organizers. The team arrived at 4 a.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport instead.
Despite the sudden change, they were immediately transported to the Century Park Hotel, but the team’s hotel rooms were not yet available because the standard check-in time was 2 p.m.
“However, as early as 8:25 a.m., some members were given an early check-in due to availability of rooms,” the hotel added in its statement.
The team was even offered the hotel’s function rooms as their temporary holding area after their breakfast, and they were asked if they needed more chairs.
The team, however, declined, saying they preferred to use the floors so they could lie down instead.
These inconveniences were also mere isolated incidents.
In previous days, after all, the 75 international arrivals of SEA Games participants who included technical officials and representatives of the respective National Olympic Committees went ahead without any hitch.
A bulk of the 75 arrived at NAIA, while five arrived at the Clark International Airport.
More serious problems also haunted the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia like food poisoning, a vehicular accident involving the athletes, theft, delayed trips and controversial decisions of referees but there were never blown out of proportion. Many on social media have called on fellow Filipinos to throw their support to the hosting of the SEA Games instead of blowing up the issues which have immediately been resolved.
Even 1-PacMan Representative Mikee Romero, a SEA Games participant, has defended the organizers and hotels from the uncalled-for criticisms against them.
He said people should point at the delay in the passage of the budget for the conduct of the sporting event if they were looking for someone to blame.
"Unfortunately, the Senate had a lot of problems and na-delay ng 5 to 6 months yung budget. Lahat to was caused by that delay," he said, noting that Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was also “partly to blame probably because the delay was caused on their side, not on the House side.”
“If they have approved it and the budget was already available last January, all these mishaps might not have happened,” he said.
In any case, SEA Games organizers have already vowed to do better.
And we should all do the same and stop the bickering for our country’s sake and for the success of this year's SEA Games. (Press release)