Mo­ment of truth

Sun.Star Baguio - - Opinion - SunS­tar Davao

AS THE one-year count­down for the Philip pines' host­ing of the 2019 South­east Asian (SEA) Games be­gan in a fes­tive and col­or­ful cel­e­bra­tion at the Clark Freeport last Novem­ber 30, the mo­ment of truth struck us that prepa­ra­tions, in all as­pects of the bi­en­nial

Games set Novem­ber 30 to De­cem­ber 11, 2019 must al­ready be in full swing.

The 15-me­ter tall count­down clock, said to be equiv­a­lent to a four-story build­ing, was in­stalled at the Bayani­han Park in Clark dur­ing the event or­ga­nized by the Philip­pines SEA Games Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee (Phis­goc) headed by for­mer Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs (DFA) secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

The count­down clock show­cases the col­ors of the Philip­pine flag and its struc­ture also fea­tures the con­tro­ver­sial 30th SEA Games logo with 11 cir­cles rep­re­sent­ing the 11 SEA coun­tries - Philip­pines, Brunei, Cam­bo­dia, East Ti­mor, In­done­sia, Laos, Malaysia Myan­mar, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and Viet­nam and laid out in the like­ness and fig­ure of the Philip­pine map.

Ex­ec­u­tive Secretary Sal­vador Me­di­aldea, dur­ing the count­down cel­e­bra­tion, said the ac­ti­va­tion of this count­down clock rep­re­sents the op­ti­mism for a fu­ture that is full of prom­ises. “It sym­bol­izes the com­mon as­pi­ra­tions of our South East Asian fam­ily for a stronger re­gional com­mu­nity that is bound by friend­ship, ca­ma­raderie, co­op­er­a­tion, and team­work.”

The last SEA Games that the Philip­pines hosted was in 2005 with the host coun­try win­ning the over­all cham­pi­onship - har­vest­ing a to­tal of 113 gold medals, 84 sil­vers and 94 bronzes.

But sev­eral years later its rank­ing dropped, trail­ing be­hind other SEA neigh­bors. The Philip­pines placed sixth in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur, in the 2015 Sin­ga­pore, 2011 In­done­sia and 2007 Thai­land edi­tions; sev­enth in the 2013 Myan­mar SEA Games and fifth in the 2009 Laos Games.

The coun­try's host­ing, how­ever, should not just only show­case the am­bi­tious in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment pro­gram of the gov­ern­ment in­clud­ing world-class sports fa­cil­i­ties but also boost the morale of na­tional ath­letes who will be the ones don­ning the coun­try's col­ors. We hope all their train­ing needs will be catered and the exposures they need be also granted.

We sure want the Philip­pines to make it on top again in the SEA Games af­ter 14 years.

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