MANILA, Philippines — Ahead of the 6 p.m. closing ceremonies at New Clark City in Tarlac, CURRENTPH.COM got a copy of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino’s closing rites speech of the 30th Southeast Asian Games which the country hosted and dominated with a record haul of 386 medals (149 gold, 117 silver, and 120 bronze medals).
Here it goes:
“Tonight-as we bring to a close another chapter in the history of the South East Asian Games, one cannot but feel a sense of wonderment at how time went by so fast.
It feels like yesterday that we went into the planning stages, the feverish preparations, the many challenges faced and hurdled, then the excitement of the competitions and the inevitable euphoria and despair at every match won or lost.
And now, all too soon, we bid each other farewell. The Games are over. And we find ourselves somewhat hesitant to bring the curtains down on the 30th edition of the South East Asian Games.
No matter what our role was in these Games — as athlete, coach, official, Games worker volunteer or service provider, we have memories to cherish to last even a lifetime.
The Philippines was fortunate to work with some of the most well-meaning and experienced personalites ever gathered that gave us the chance to stage the biggest SEA Games ever and hopefully, to some semblance of success.
I will forever be appreciative of the members of the South East Asian Games Federation for their support and cooperation. All representatives from the 11 countries were single-minded in making the 30th SEA Games a rousing success.
But success does not only mean victory in the field of play, but our ability to impress upon every participant the importance of embracing the values of fairness, dedication, excellence and grace in the face of intense competition.
We must strive to mold our young with the proper attitude and develop the strong and righteous character that would serve them well as they grow into being useful members of society.
And that was the idea behind this activity- to compete and not to fight, to strive for excellence rather than one-upmanship, to make friends and not enemies.
To the Philippine Olympic Committee’s partners locally, the PHISGOC and the Philippine Sports Commission, we went through some harsh times but we remained steadfast to the objective — to stage not only the biggest SEA GAMES ever, but one that was memorable to all the participants.
To the government agencies that played a critical role in the Games, the Department of Tourism, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Health, and so many other agencies who tirelessly gave of themselves to ensure everything ran as smooth as possible, we owe a debt of gratitude.
To everyone, MARAMING, MARAMING SALAMAT! By now, all of you should know what that means.
And to each and every athlete in these Games, on behalf of the millions who witnessed your gallantry, courage and determination, Maraming Salamat from the bottom of our hearts.
YES, MARAMING SALAMAT. AND WE WILL COME TOGETHER AGAIN…AS ONE…IN 2021…IN VIETNAM!
Mabuhay and Safe Travels Home!” (IAMIGO/CNS)