Adding to its sweep of gold medals at the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines has just been named "Best SEA Games Organizer" by the Sports Industry Awards Asia (SPIA Asia).
SPIA Asia, which, according to its website, is the continent's "leading sports awards platform," lauds the Philippine Southeast Asia Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) for producing a world-class opening ceremony and organizing a total of 56 sports and 530 events.
SPIA Chief Executive Officer Eric Gottschalk gave the award to PHISGOC Chairman Alan Peter Cayetano and PHISGOC Chief Operating Officer Ramon Suzara during the awards gala held last December 3, at the Grand Hyatt Manila.
In a video that Cayetano posted on his Facebook page earlier today, December 4, he thanked all the coaches, trainers, athletes, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the success of this year's SEA Games.
"Unang-una nagpapasalamat ako sa coach, trainers, sa lahat ng ating atleta sa patience nila. Maaring maging toxic minsan ang environment pero nakatutok sila," he says.
"I also have to congratulate POC at saka PSC.
"So, of course, we are praying for the success nung games and trabaho ko rin to take care of the athletes of the other countries, pero gustong-gusto natin manalo at gustong-gusto natin makita ang Filipino pride all over the world especially na sobra ang pinagdaanan ng ating mga atleta.
"So I am happy about the [medal] count and praying talaga na we will succeed not only in hosting but our athletes will succeed in the overall champion."
In the same video, Cayetano was also asked by one of the reporters about his reaction to the mishaps that happened prior to SEA Games.
He replied straightaway: "Unang-una nakita niyo na na 90 percent ng pagtuligsa sa ating preparasyon was fake news—fake news na nagpakain tayo ng baboy o pork sa Muslim, fake news na ang kubeta ay dalawang kubeta sa isang cubicle, fake news iyong swimming pool na nasa Nepal.
"Totoong nagkaroon ng konting busisi pag-dating sa airport, pero out of more than 300 arrivals, tatlo lang ang nagkaprobema at iyong dalawa lang yung talagang we could have done better."
"Iyong medium kasi ng 'dot com,' kelangan instant mag-report.
"Minsan kapag may kumuha ng picture tapos nakalagay, 'the ganito team waited for three hours,' pag-chineck namin, 30 minutes pala andoon, 40 minutes, which is the normal waiting time.
"Tapos pag-chineck namin, inoffer naman ng VIP room, pero mga bata kasi yoon, so gustong tumambay tambay, so umupo doon sa hallway.
"So we're not saying it's for them, kaya nga sabi ko sa inyo, hold us accountable afterward."
He concluded, "So, right now, let's show that we are controlled, pakita natin sa mga bisita natin na mahal natin sila.
"Let's have friendly competition, but of course, let's share sa ating mga atleta na they are well-deserving of ating mga applause at pagchi-cheer natin sa kanila."