Palace says SEA Games opening “excellent”
Malacanang on Sunday said President Rodrigo Duterte was very happy on the outcome of the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
In an interview by Radyo Inquirer, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said “it was an excellent opening of SEA Games”.
“The performances were good, it’s like world class… the President is very happy on what he saw yesterday,” he said.
Panelo said the feeling of excitement and happiness were seen from the audience, especially when the Philippine delegates marched on stage.
“That was a feeling of excitement, happiness while the delegation enters. It’s fun. We have to congratulate the organizer for the superb opening of SEA Games,” he said.
Panelo also congratulated all the athletes who so far won medals on Saturday sports events.
“We congratulate our Filipino athletes for that… their preparation was good. There is no substitute for preparation for any competition,” he said.
As of 5 pm, according to official tally, the Philippines has won 26 medals, consisting of 15 gold, six silver, and five bronze.
On the lighting of the P55-million cauldron in New Clark City, Tarlac, the presidential spokesperson said some people were not allowed in the venue because of its security protocol.
Panelo said the Palace disagrees with the critics who called the opening ceremony a “circus.”
“We disagree with them. The performance was good, world class. Those people only knew how to criticize. Maybe they are not there (on the venue),” he said.
In a statement, Panelo said the eye-catching sports and musical extravaganza did not escape unnoticed by Singapore's The Strait Times, which commented that, "It took just two hours to wipe away a week's worth of bad headlines."
“Undoubtedly, the ceremony demonstrated the redoubtable ability of the Philippines to host the biggest sporting events in the world and entertain our foreign guests with the kind of merriment that we Filipinos excel and are famous for,” he said.
With this, the Palace hoped the event extraordinaire sets the tone for the handling of the games until the foreign guests leave the country, bringing with them beautiful memories forever etched in their hearts.
Panelo also commended the local media outfits, as well as writers and bloggers in social media, for reporting with accuracy the success of the ceremony.
“Such truthful and accurate reportage contributed to the pride of all Filipinos as they express their sentiments in cheering for our athletes and our country,” he said.
Duterte led the opening ceremony of the SEA Games on Saturday night at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Ella Dionisio/DMS