Philippine contingent raises flag in Kuala Lumpur for 2017 SEA Games

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 16, 2017 04:11 PM
Philippine contingent raises flag in Kuala Lumpur
(Photo courtesy of the official 2017 SEA Games Twitter account: @KL2017)

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Philippines was officially recognized in the 28th Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday during simple flag-raising ceremonies held at the sprawling Kuala Lumpur Sports City here. A total of 30 representatives from the national contingent consisting of medical, secretariat and athletes, led by PH squad administrator Rowena Eustuya who represented chef de mission Cynthia Carrion, and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) executive assistant Gina Calaguas, attended the occasion.

Also present during the event were Philippine Embassy officials headed by Consul Johann Veronica Andal, who represented Ambassador Charles Jose, and attache Emryss Esparto.

An embassy spokesman said Jose was planning to fete the PH delegation on Friday. As the emcee announced the names of the SEA Games participants in alphabetical order, the Philippine tri-colors were raised while the national anthem “Lupang Hinirang” was played. 

All 10 visiting countries were feted with host Malaysia being the last to have its flag raised.

Welcoming the participants was Malaysian Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Dato’ M. Saravanan, who exchanged gifts with the representatives of the national teams. 

“This ceremony is an occasion recognizing our presence in this sportsfest,” said Calaguas, who is also in charge of the PH squad’s medical support team. “Like the rest of the SEA Games countries, this simply means we are officially here.”

She cited the efficiency of the Malaysian hosts in accommodating the needs of the SEA Games participants from transportation to accommodations “so I have no complaints.” Calaguas bared that they were expecting the bulk of the PH delegation to begin arriving on Wednesday until Friday, a day before the formal opening of the biennial meet.

POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. and the other POC leaders were set to arrive late Wednesday.With the exception of cricket, the Filipino campaigners, 700-plus strong, will be vying in 37 of the 38 sports in Malaysia, which last hosted the Games in 2001.

The Nationals are bidding to improve on the haul of their predecessors, who went home with 29 golds, 36 silvers and 66 bronzes, good for sixth overall, in the Singapore edition two years ago.

The Philippine Sports Commission has gone all out so that the country’s standard-bearers will do better, pouring close to P300 million in support from training to international exposure, for the regional meet. 

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