The Palace congratulated the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games organizers headed by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for a job "exceedingly well done," following the spectacular opening ceremony of the biennial event at the Philippine Arena on Saturday, November 30.
"The opening ceremony of the 30th SEA Games was a sight to behold," the Palace said.
According to the Palace, the "eye catching sports and musical extravaganza" did not go unnoticed by Singapore's The Strait Times, which noted: "It took just two hours to wipe away a week's worth of bad headlines."
"Undoubtedly, the ceremony demonstrated the redoubtable ability of the Philippines to host the biggest sporting events in the world and entertain our foreign guests with the kind of merriment that we Filipinos excel and are famous for," the Palace said, adding it has also set the bar high for prospective hosts of international sporting events.
The Palace said it hoped the "event extraordinaire" would set the tone for the handling of games "until our foreign guests leave the country, bringing with them beautiful memories forever etched in their hearts."
"Such a delight to watch a night where all Filipinos, regardless of age, social or political status and location, went in droves to show their support to the country's hosting of the 30th SEA Games," the Palace said.
It also commended the performers, and the local media outfits and writers and bloggers "for reporting with accuracy the success of the ceremony."
"For us, this ceremony should remind us that with unity, camaraderie and support, #WeWinAsOne," it added.
The Philippines is hosting the 30th edition of the SEA Games from November 30 to December 11, 2019.
Filipino netizens, celebrities and politicians praised the spectacular grand opening ceremony that officially marked the start of the SEA Games held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan last November 30.
Heads of various National Olympic Committees such as Malaysian Olympic Committee president Mohamad Norza Zakaria and Indonesian NOC chief Raja Sapta Oktohari lauded the effort of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the whole Philippines for having the courage to host the grandest SEA Games with 56 sports.
Even athletes from Asean nations commended the facilities provided at the New Clark City Athletes' Village. One athlete from Brunei said that aside from the best facilities, she was also impressed with the country’s sensitivity by providing halal food to Muslim players.
In addition, the kitchen in the Athletes’ Village serves different cuisines and was open 24 hours to serve players unlimited amounts of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Before the official opening ceremony of the Games, journalists were also pleased with the arrangements done at the media center in Clark where desktop computers, a master control room, massage chairs, a dining hall and a media lounge were prepared for the press.
With a total of 49 medals as of this writing, the Philippines still leads the 30th SEA Games' medal tally with 25 golds, 15 silvers, and 9 bronzes -- surpassing its 24-gold medal output from the 2017 edition of the regional sports meet. (PR)