The Philippine National Police (PNP) said that no untoward incident was reported during the much-anticipated opening of the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the 50,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“PNP lauds the full support and cooperation of the public in ensuring the success of the opening ceremony of the 30th SEA games yesterday,” PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a statement.
A total of 19,767 police officers and government personnel have been deployed to ensure the country’s smooth hosting of the prestigious sports event.
He said tight PNP security remains in full force in cooperation with the Philippine Sea Games Organizational Committee (Phisgoc) even as they continue to express full support to all Filipino athletes.
Gamboa said the PNP remains alert and vigilant to prevent occurrence of crimes and implement security contingency plans in case Typhoon Tisoy will affect the scheduled games, and assist local disaster management councils to implement preventive evacuations should the need arises.
“We urge the public to maintain excellent display of unity, discipline and order. Unity in diversity. We Win as One!” Gamboa said.
The formal opening showcased a performance that highlighted the beauty of a “united” Philippines and featured a strong thematic thread of inclusivity, from complex warrior dances to the many struggles of the host country’s marginalized sector.
The audience witnessed the parade of around 8,750 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The opening rites also showed the simultaneous lighting of the cauldron by Filipino boxing champions Emmanuel Pacquiao and Nesthy Petecio at the New Clark City.
The Philippines hosted this year’s SEA Games for the fourth time. It also hosted the biennial sporting event in 1981, 1991, and 2005.
The 30th SEA Games will take place from November 30 to December 11 at the newly-built New Clark City Sports Hub in Capas, Tarlac; Subic, Zambales; Laguna; Batangas; Tagaytay; Imus, Cavite; and the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Metro Manila. (PNA)