Philippine athletes meet with President Marcos before proceeding to Cambodia for 32nd SEA Games

Before proceeding to Cambodia for the 32nd edition of the Southeast Asian Games (also referred to as SEA Games and Cambodia 2023), members of the Philippine Team as well as top sports officials met with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA news article. Some parts in boldface…

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. believes that sports is too valuable of a support to the society that it must be kept that way.

Speaking to the athletes who will compete in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) during the formal send-off ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay on Monday, Marcos said even their wins alone give the Filipinos joy already.

“That is why it has to be kept as a very, very important part of our support to our society. And beyond that, ang ating mga champion, ang ating mga nag-uuwi ng medalya at saka tropeo ay talaga namang nagdadala ng kasiyahan at naipagmamalaki ng buong madla na kami ay Pilipino. ‘Yang mga ‘yan Pilipino ‘yan, mga champion namin ‘yan at ‘yan ang siguro ang pinakamahalaga na dinadala — nagdadala kayo ng dangal sa Pilipinas (our champions, those who bring home medals and trophies really bring joy and become pride of the Filipinos. Those Filipinos, those are our champions and that’s perhaps the most important thing – you bring honor to the Philippines),” Marcos said.

He added, “It’s good for your discipline. It’s good for your health. It’s good for your camaraderie. It’s good to mature young people.”

This is the first time that Marcos attended an athletes’ send-off event since his overwhelming victory in the May 2022 presidential elections.

“It is my great, great pleasure to be able to be with you just very quickly. Pinilit kong makapunta rito dahil gusto kong makilala ‘yung mga champion (I made sure to come here because I want to meet our champions),” he said.

He expressed willingness to help the athletes and sports officials by any means possible.

“If there is anything more that this government can do, that this administration can do, that I personally can do, you please make sure you will tell me because we are all rooting for you,” Marcos said.

He wished the Cambodia SEAG-bound athletes and officials “good luck”.

“At huwag niyong kakalimutan kapag talagang napagod na, nahirapan na, na-injure na nang kaunti, pakinggan niyo ulit ‘yung sigaw, maririnig niyo kami ‘yun, ‘yung mga kapwa niyo Pinoy, sinisigaw (Don’t forget when you’re tired, you’re having hard time, you’ve been injured, listen to those rooting for you, you’ll hear us your fellow Filipinos shouting): Go! Go! Go! Go!,” he said.

The above article ended stating that over 800 Philippine Team athletes will compete in over 600 events covering 38 sports in the SEA Games this year. The games in Cambodia will run from May 5 to 17, 2023.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the Philippines will be able to win enough gold medals to finish in the Top 3 of the SEA Games in Cambodia?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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