By Inday Chikadora |11:57 PM November 30, 2019
Mabuhay! Welcome to the Philippines!
The opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan
was a grand display of Philippine culture, arts, music, dance and world-class talents.
Native dances, from the northern Luzon’s La Jota Moncadeña and Mindanao’s Singkil, and a demonstration of Filipino martial arts such as escrima, kali, and arnis were featured in the opening.
The artistic designs, weaves, pendants and icons of Filipino indigenous peoples also took center stage.
“The Philippines is rejoicing with pride,”said Christian Jotojot on hisFacebook.
“Grabe maka proud to be a FILIPINO!
Worldclass!!!! 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 #SEAGame2019 #WeWinAsOne,” wrote Gerwin Yudelmo.
“Grabe nakakakilabot!!! MABUHAY ang mga Atletang Pinoy!! #WeWinAsOne 🇵🇭#30thSEAGAMES,” wrote Senyora.
“Maka proud pod ning opening sa SEA games oiii..☑️💯,” said Angeli Quezon.
“This is the part na di ko na napigilan umityak. More than ever, I am proud to be a PILIPINO… Nakakaproud!!! Mabuhaaaaaaay!!!! 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭
Video Credits 2019 SEA Games #2019SEAGames #WeWinAsOne,” said voice talent Dan Cahulogan.
Things kicked off with singer Lani Misalucha performing the national anthem “Lupang Hinirang” in the required brisk, marching pace.
The cultural performance quickly gave way to the march of athletes from the different participating nations with the Philippine beauty queens who served as the muses of participating countries.
They were introduced in a Santacruzan-style parade.
Ubay native Karen Gallman, the country’s 1st Miss Intercontinental in 2018, served as the muse of Brunei.
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, the country’s 3rd Miss Univeserve, served as the muse of the Philippines.
Megan Young, who became the first Filipina to win Miss World in 2013, was the muse of Indonesia.
The iconic song “Manila” by Hotdog was the tune played in the background as the Philippine delegates marched.
The sight and sounds were so goosebump-inducing that even President Rodrigo Duterte couldn’t resist grooving to the beat.
Other performers were Christian Bautista, Aicelle Santos, Jed Madela, Elmo Magalona, KZ Tandingan, Iñigo Pascual, The TNT Boys, Ana Fegi, Robert Seña, and Apl.de.ap. They also performed the 2019 SEA Games theme song, “We Win As One.”
It was also the gathering of great Filipino athletes: Asia’s fastest woman Lydia De Vega, 7-time SEA Games gold medalist swimmer Akiko Thomson, 15-time SEA Games gold medalist swimmer Eric Buhain, 4-time PBA MVP and SEA Games gold medalist Alvin Patrimonio, 4-time bowling world champion Bong Coo, 4-time world eight ball champion Efren “Bata” Reyes, 2-time SEA Games medalist and Olympic silver medalist boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, and 6-time bowling world champion Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno carried the South East Asian Games Federation flag.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who was seen seated beside Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, formally opened the biennial games.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the organizing committee of the 30th SEA Games, also delivered a speech.
Despite officially being opened only on Saturday night, preliminary games have already been held in the past week across several venues in the country.
Boholano athletes participating in the SEA Games 2019 are Emmanuel Comendador (San Miguel; duathlon); Rian Marco Adiong Tirol (Tagbilaran; swimming); and Miguel Casiño Relampagos (Loon; ice hockey).
Photo grab from 2019 South East Asian Games Philippines’ YouTube live video.