All eyes are on the Philippines as it plays host to the much-awaited 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where 8,750 of the best athletes from all over the region are competing in 56 sports.
Filipino sportsmen are definitely in for some tough competition. To give them a boost of confidence, Pinoys have started cheering them on.
Among these supporters are sports personalities, models, politicians, and celebrities, including basketball players Alex Cabagnot and Ryan Araña, model and fitness enthusiast Sam Adjani, and public officials Camille Villar and Lani Cayetano. They’re also among the 9,000 volunteers dedicating their time to help make the SEA Games possible.
Here are their words of encouragement.
PRIDE FOR HOMEGROWN TALENT
"They have been training so hard to get to where they are today, and that alone, in itself, is already a very big achievement," said Alex Cabagnot.
Ryan Arana is excited about the opportunity to witness the athletes’ skills and talents on native soil.
"Dito gaganapin yung SEA Games sa bansa natin, [so] makikita natin yung mga athletes natin kung paano nila pinaghandaan at paano nila ibigay yung best nila," he said.
The basketball player also commended the athletes for representing the country in the games. "First of all, I wanna congratulate you,” he said. “You guys are playing for the SEA Games! Give your best, always look at the bright side, dasal tayo para sa success, at saka maglaro tayo for the honor. Good luck!"
Sam Adjani is looking forward to the display of skill and agility in the games.
"What I’m really looking forward to see[ing] are obstacle course sports and basketball, of course. I’ve seen all the athletes train so hard, especially for obstacle course racing."
He also thanked the athletes for doing their part in representing the Philippines.
"To the athletes, I know you’ve all been training really hard and have been waiting for this moment. This is your time, this is your time to shine, so go out there and make us all proud. Thank you for representing us," he said.
Some public officials likewise expressed their pride and eagerness to witness Pinoy athletes’ skills firsthand.
Las Piñas representative Camille Villar said: "We are so, so proud of you. Just you being on stage at the Southeast Asian Games is a victory for all of us Filipinos. Good luck po sa inyong lahat. Mahal na mahal naming kayong lahat, at nandito kami para sumuporta sa inyo palagi."
Taguig representative, Lani Cayetano, also thanked the athletes.
"Please remember as you participate in all the events, in all the sporting events, that you have the whole nation cheering for you. Let’s go and win as one!" she proclaimed.
HEARTFELT GRATITUDE FOR VOLUNTEERS
Apart from cheering on the athletes, these seasoned pros also gave messages to their fellow volunteers.
Alex marveled at the hardworking volunteers who give their time to help make the games a success, saying, "We are just as proud of our volunteers. To our volunteers, ibigay natin ang lahat para sa ating watawat, at tayo ay magkaisa para sa ating bansa."
Ryan encouraged the volunteers to continue to persevere as help make the games possible.
"Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo. Kung hindi dahil sa inyo, hindi mabubuo itong SEA Games na ito, at sana magtuloy tuloy ang suporta natin lalo na sa mga athletes natin. Suportahan natin sila sa games at ipagdasal din natin silang lahat na [sana ay] walang mangyaring masama at makuha nila yung tagumpay for the SEA Games," he said.
Rep. Villar said, “To all the volunteers, thank you so much for your support. We will win as one.”
Lastly, Rep. Cayetano proclaimed, "There’s nothing like giving your time and effort to support your fellow Filipinos so sa lahat ng volunteers, thank you very much. I hope that you will consider this as a valuable contribution to our beloved nation and to our Filipino athletes. Mabuhay kayong lahat!"
The New Clark City Sports Village in Capas, Tarlac will be the main hub of the 30th SEA Games from November 30 to December 11. The Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Subic and various locations in Metro Manila, including the Rizal Memorial Stadium, will serve as the secondary and tertiary hubs, respectively, for the different sporting events.