PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino yesterday appealed to Filipinos to “stand as one” as the 30th Southeast Asian Games goes full blast this Saturday.
He reminded everyone that it’s only the fourth time the Philippines is hosting the SEA Games after 1981, 1991 and 2005, and the next hosting will not come until 10 of 12 years from now.
“Remember, the next time we will host this could be in 2030. So, let’s not pull each other down. This is for the country,” he said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.
The past couple of days were marred by reports of the failure of the local organizers to meet the demands of a multi-nation event, including accommodation, transportation and other basic needs of foreign delegates.
“We all make mistakes, that’s why we should work together. Those in social media, the netizens, let’s move on first with our hosting,” said Tolentino, also the chief of Philippine cycling.
“It’s normal,” he said of what he described as minor glitches regarding the food being provided to the athletes and accreditations with mistaken identities, among others.
“I’ve experienced that myself,” Tolentino said during the public sports program backed by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
What’s important, he added, is for Filipinos to rally behind the athletes and the hosting in general.
“Let’s just focus on our athletes. With this, my statement will be not only for us to ‘win as one’ but ‘we stand as one’ in hosting this SEA Games,’” he said. “All these problems have solutions and they are being addressed and being solved.”