Last night, the 23rd South East Asian Games was declared closed by President Macapagal-Arroyo amid fanfare in Luneta Park. These Games saw the Philippines become overall champion for the first time in the Games’s history with 113 golds, 84 silvers, and 94 bronzes. Tempo has an article wrapping up the medal tally, and it seems that the only sports where we turned up medal-less were badminton and football.
I’ve been watching the coverage all week, and my heart has leapt within me every time a Philippine athlete wins. It even got to the point where I stood up each time they played our national anthem. Ü Our athletes (homegrown and balikbayan) did their best to bring honor for the country; Philippine tourism benefits from the exposure of not only Manila, but various other scenic sites where the Games’s sports were staged. Overall, the Games are something to be proud of and to smile about.
POSIBLE: During the interminably long commercial breaks, the only commercial I was fond of seeing was Globe Telecom’s “Posible” commercial. Rivermaya’s inspirational song combined with Filipino athletes showing off their skills made me want to get out there and win something. Alas, I am no athlete.
GOOD AND BAD: The good news is that after this huge win Philippine SEA Games athletes will be treated to a free vacation courtesy of the Philippine Tourism Authority. President Macapagal-Arroyo even thinks this will be the beginning of the Philippines becoming a sports power in Asia. That may be difficult to do, if the bad news happens. Next year the Philippine Sports Commission’s budget could be slashed to 27 million pesos, down from its 107 million peso budget this year. Boo to the Department of Budget and Management for recommending the budget cut. Really, really stupid.
RELATED LINKS: I have a SEA Games tennis wrap-up at my tennis blog. Arybba talks about her experience organizing the SEA Games. Ganns talks about Philippine victories in 2005. Also, INQ7.net has the full list of Philippine gold medalists.