Cebuano SEA Games medalists receive heroes’ welcome during homecoming fete at SM Seaside Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebuano Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) medalists received a warm welcome from their friends, family, and the Cebuanos during their grand homecoming hosted by the SM Seaside Cebu on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
Seven of the 11 Cebuano medalists in the 31st SEAG in Vietnam graced the grand homecoming event co-organized by the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC).
Among them were Alexis Sy-Chua (silver, bowling), Andrew Kim Remolino (silver, men’s triathlon), Raven Faith Alcoseba (bronze, women’s triathlon), Elreen Ando (silver, weightlifting), Wilbert Aunzo and Pearl Marie Caneda (silver, two bronzes dancesport), and Lois Kaye Go (bronze, golf).
Cebuano athletes contributed immensely to Team Philippines’ fourth-place finish in the recent biennial sports meet, the country’s best SEA Games finish outside the country since 1983 in Singapore.
Team Philippines amassed 52 gold medals, 70 silvers, and 105 bronzes.
In his video message, chef de mission and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon Fernandez told the athletes how proud he is of their achievement. In addition, he also reiterated the importance of character-building in sports.
“We are all proud of you who continue to do good in your chosen sports. For me, ang importante mag ka medal mo sa mga international competitions but, usa sad ka importante nga butang nga dapat nato tagaan ug importansya ang ma build nga character sa usa ka atleta. By playing your sport, you are also doing your part of building your character. The values you learned through sports will also be applied to your life,” said Fernandez.
Also, giving a recorded inspirational message to the athletes was no other than PSC Chairman William Ramirez.
“This is the fruit of the labor, the testament of tireless training, and preparation from their coaches, and the sacrifices of being away from their families,” said Ramirez.
The PSC bankrolled the participation of the 980-strong Philippine contingent, including 641 athletes and 210 coaches from 40 sports to the tune of P232 million.
Also present during the grand homecoming event were CCSC chairman John Pages, former CCSC chairman and Dancesport Team Cebu City president Edward Hayco, Cebu City Vice Mayor Dondon Hontiveros, SM’s senior assistant vice president for marketing in Visayas Raphael Ryan Batuigas, and SM Regional Operations Manager Anton del Prado.
“Of course, SM Seaside is here to acknowledge and celebrate the presence of our extraordinary athletes for their hard work, persistence, and for their achievements. SM Seaside’s tagline is always been about experiencing the extraordinary. Today, you would experience the extraordinary presence of our extraordinary Cebuano athletes,” said Del Prado.
On the other hand, Hontiveros said that the Cebu City Government plans to file a resolution to recognize the Cebuano athletes who won a medal in the SEA Games.
Part of the recognition, according to Hontiveros, is cash incentives. However, he clarified that the cash incentives and recognition are only for the SEA Games medalists from Cebu City. /rcg
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