Cayetano cites sports as uni­fy­ing el­e­ment

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By JOAQUIN HEN­SON

Foreign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary and Philip­pine SEA Games Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee (PHISGOC) ex­ec­u­tive board pre­sid­ing chair­man Alan Peter Cayetano hosted a wel­come din­ner for the SEA Games Fed­er­a­tion del­e­gates at the Mar­quis Events Place in Boni­fa­cio Global City, Taguig, the other night and de­liv­ered a heart­felt talk that spoke vol­umes of his pas­sion for sports.

Cayetano took the stage for a brief mes­sage be­fore din­ner and dis­pensed with a pre­pared speech to speak from the heart. He cited sports as a uni­fy­ing el­e­ment in South­east Asia and called it a teacher of val­ues such as team­work and dis­ci­pline. Cayetano said while POC pres­i­dent and PHISGOC co-vice chair Ricky Var­gas spoke on per­se­ver­ance in a pre­vi­ous speech, he stressed the im­por­tance of per­sis­tence, even re­lat­ing a Bi­ble pas­sage to ex­press his point.

Cayetano said the co­op­er­a­tive spirit of the SEA Games fam­ily is what makes the bi­en­nial con­clave an en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. He said when the Philip­pines hosts the SEA Games next year, it will be dif­fi­cult to top the de­liv­ery of the pre­vi­ous host Malaysia in 2017. “If we are able to match what Malaysia did, it will be a feat,” he said. “If we are able to top what Malaysia did, it will be a stan­dard of ex­cel­lence. If we are not able to match or sur­pass what Malaysia did, then it will be a les­son for fu­ture host coun­tries to learn from.” He said the Philip­pines will do its best to stage an unforgettable SEA Games.

Var­gas, for his part, said the com­ing SEA Games will be a fiercely-con­tested but fun event. “We in South­east Asia are very com­pet­i­tive in na­ture so we ex­pect fierce and healthy com­pe­ti­tion,” he said. Var­gas men­tioned that Filipino hospi­tal­ity will be at its warm­est in host­ing the ath­letes, coaches and del­e­gates of the SEA Games fam­ily next year. PSC chair­man and PHISGOC co-vice chair Butch Ramirez also went on stage to wel­come the SEA Games Fed­er­a­tion and vowed to do his part in mak­ing the next SEA Games a suc­cess.

Among those who at­tended the din­ner were Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, Sen. Miguel Zu­biri, for­mer Sen. Manny Vil­lar, Rep. Con­rad Estrella, 2019 SEA Games Philip­pine chef de mis­sion Rep. Mon­sour del Rosario, Tar­lac Gov. Su­san Yap, Ca­pas Mayor Rey Cat­a­cu­tan, IOC hon­orary mem­ber Frank El­izalde, SEA Games Fed­er­a­tion hon­orary life pres­i­dent Prince Sufri Bolkiah of Brunei Darus­salam, In­done­sian head del­e­gate Er­ick Tho­hir, for­mer Rep. Mon­ico Puentevella and PBA play­ers J. C. In­tal and Jay-R Reyes.

For­mer POC pres­i­dent and chair­man of the SEA Games Fed­er­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee Celso Dayrit said de­lib­er­a­tions went smoothly in the morn­ing and af­ter­noon ses­sions. The Med­i­cal, Sports and Rules and Women and Sports Com­mit­tees held si­mul­ta­ne­ous morn­ing meet­ings be­fore re­port­ing to the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee in the af­ter­noon. Dayrit said the first round of dis­cus­sions ze­roed in on 30 sports for the next SEA Games which will be the 30th edi­tion of the event. Bad­minton made it to the list of 30, dis­plac­ing ice hockey which will be re­viewed in the com­ing rounds of de­lib­er­a­tions with other sports, in­clud­ing squash, fig­ure skat­ing, jiu-jitsu and E-sports. Ar­nis, a tra­di­tional Filipino sport, was in the list of 30.

In yes­ter­day’s SEA Games Fed­er­a­tion coun­cil meet­ing, Dayrit re­ported on the de­lib­er­a­tions of the Med­i­cal, Sports and Rules, Women and Sports and Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tees. PHISGOC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ra­mon (Tats) Suzara made a 20-minute au­dio-vis­ual pre­sen­ta­tion of what to ex­pect in the 2019 SEA Games and Malaysia sub­mit­ted a sum­mary re­port on the 2017 SEA Games.

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