SEA Games: PHI volleyball squads to join opening parade
Mark Escarlote on Nov 27, 2019 06:48 PM
The Philippine men's and women's teams will participate in the traditional parade of nations during the 30th Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Valdez).
The Philippine men’s and women’s volleyball teams are stoked for their participation in the traditional parade of nations in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Men’s team skipper John Vic De Guzman is looking forward to joining the spectacle at the Philippine Arena on Saturday when all 11 participating countries march with their respective banners as part of the festivities to kick off the biennial meet hostilities.
“Sobrang excited, this will be my third SEA Games pero this will be my first time to be in the opening parade,” said De Guzman, who has donned the tricolors since the 2015 Singapore edition when the country participated in volleyball after a 10-year hiatus.
Unlike the women’s team that joined the parade in 2015 with Alyssa Valdez as flagbearer, the men’s squad will make its debut in the highlight of the opening event.
The men's national team will be wearing Barongs created by renowned designer Francis Libiran during the parade of nations in the 30th Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“Actually buong men’s volleyball team, first time [sumama sa parade],” said De Guzman. “Noong 2015, late kami umalis pa-Singapore, and 2017 [Kuala Lumpur] hindi kami umabot sa opening kasi same day ang flight namin. So kung gaano ka-excited? SOBRANG EXCITED! Kasi walang kasing saya na lumakad siguro doon sa harap mismo ng mga Pilipinong ipaglalaban namin dito pa mismo sa Pilipinas.”
“Pare-pareho kaming first timer sa parada kaya sigurado akong tatatak ng husto sa aming mga puso ang experience na ito,” added De Guzman.
Top hitter Marck Espejo shares the same feeling.
“Sa akin po, siyempre sobrang excited kasi nga noong first SEA Games ko napanood namin 'yung mga babae kasama sa Singapore nag-parade,” Espejo said. “So parang ang saya lalo na maraming tao, lalo na sa Philippines 'yung SEA Games. And sobrang excited talaga parang gusto ko maglakad sa oval habang napapagiliran ng maraming tao tapos kasama 'yung ibang delegations din.”
For men’s head coach Dante Alinsunurin walking with the country’s delegation in front a huge, cheering crowd has always been his dream. Something that he and women’s head coach Shaq Delos Santos didn’t get a chance to experience back when they were playing for the national team.
“Ako gusto kong ma-experience kasi noong naglaro ako laging nakahiwalay ang SEA Games [opening ceremony]. Nu’ng sa Vietnam nasa probinsya kami, tapos nitong dito ang  SEA Games nasa Bacolod kami,” he said. “Iba yung feeling na pumaparada ka, makikita mo ang opening. Parang doon pa lang mararamdaman mo talaga na nasa SEA Games na.”
Women’s squad team captain Aby Marano along with Valdez and veterans Jia Morado, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rhea Dimaculangan are on their second run in the parade of nations.
“Excited ako this time kasi last na SEA Games namin hindi kami nakapunta sa opening,” said Marano, who is on her third SEA Games stint. “’Yung unang opening ceremony na napuntahan ko is SEAGAMES sa Singapore grabe ang ganda ng program. Goosebumps all the way sa pagkaka-orchestrate nila ng opening sobrang galing na amaze ako sa presentation nila. Napakagarbo feeling ko nga nasa Olympics ako nun eh.”
Marano is also excited to see what the organizers of this Games have in store for the audience and the guests.
“Kaya excited ako this time kasi dito sa Pilipinas gaganapin,” she said. “Gusto ko makita kung papaano maibabahagi ang kulturang Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng opening ceremony na yan.”
Team Philippines will be wearing the creation of renowned fashion designer Francis Libiran.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles