Cebu is very ready

By: Glendale G. Rosal June 10,2015 - 02:05 PM
Filipinos Jesson Ramil Cid (No. 6 center in black) and Janry Ubas (No. 8) compete in the 100-meter event of men's decathlon in the 28th SEA Games at the National Stadium in Singapore.(INQUIRER)

Filipinos Jesson Ramil Cid (No. 6 center in black) and Janry Ubas (No. 8) compete in the 100-meter event of men’s decathlon in the 28th SEA Games at the National Stadium in Singapore.(INQUIRER)

AS SATELLITE HOST OF 2019 SEAG

Top Cebuano sports heads expressed consolidated excitement over the prospect of the country hosting the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after Brunei Darusallam begged off from hosting the biennial regional games due to lack of facilities and infrastructure.

Cebu City Sports Center manager (CCSC) and veteran sports events organizer, Ricky Ballesteros and Cebu City Sports Commission’s hard working chair Edward Hayco believe the country is capable of staging the meet it last hosted 10 years ago.

Thailand is reportedly also interested in hosting the 30th SEAG but Philippine Olympic Committee Chairman Tom Carrasco hopes to beat the Thais to the draw by sending an early letter of intent to the SEAG Federation Council.

Filipina Katharina Lehnert in women's team final.(Inquirer)

Filipina Katharina Lehnert in women’s team final.(INQUIRER)

TOURISM BOOST

Ballesteros said that should the country host the 2019 games in a manner similar to 2005 where several cities including Cebu were used as satellite hosts, this will result in inspired performances by the Filipino athletes and boost the country’s tourism image since foreign athletes will be treated to the country’s showcase tourist spots.

“Mo level up jud ang performances sa mga Pinoys mao jud na among nabantayan and based on the feedback of the visiting delegates of 2005, without being biased, Cebu for them had the best opening and closing ceremonies compared to Manila mao nang excited kaayo mi mo host ug balik ang Cebu,” said Ballesteros.

He hopes that the planned Seaside Arena and SMX Convention Center at the SM Seaside City in the SRP would be completed in time for the 2019 games to boost Cebu’s chances as satellite host.

In 2005, a total of 5,336 athletes from 11 SEA nations competed here in Cebu and Manila with the Philippines bagging its first ever overall championship with 291 medals including 113 golds, 84 silvers and 94 bronzes. Thailand finished second (283, 87-78-118) while Vietnam (228, 71-68-89) came in third in the 40-discipline meet.

At that time, Cebu hosted dancesport (Waterfront Hotel), pencak silat (Cebu Coliseum), karatedo and judo (Mandaue Coliseum), sepak takraw (USC gym) and mountainbike (Danao City).

The Philippines has hosted the SEA Games in 1981, 1983, 1991 and 2005.

However, Ballesteros also thinks that Philippine sports officials might favor holding the games in one venue, possibly at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the world’s biggest amphitheater with a seating capacity of more than 50,000.

CEBU IS VERY READY

The 20,000-seater Philippine Stadium which is equipped with a state-of-the-art football pitch and capable of hosting multi-sporting events such as the SEA Games, is also another suitable venue.

Both colossal structures are owned by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).

“For me, gwapo pud i-try ang Philippine Arena ug Philippine Stadium sa Bulacan kay pang world class jud and perfect kaayo for the opening and closing ceremonies pero mag-agad ra jud ta sa decision sa mga organizers. Basta para naku, ready kaayo ang Cebu,” Ballesteros stressed.

Hayco, on the other hand, confidently says Cebu is very ready if the province will be tapped as a satellite host.

“Yes, Cebu is very ready for this. We have the people, the resources, experience and expertise to hold a world class event. Hosting the SEA Games will be a great honor and challenge for Cebuanos.”

Hayco is the man behind Cebu’s three current Guinness World Records in sports including the biggest dance class in the world, the biggest chess tournament in the world and the world’s biggest archery lesson.

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TAGS: 2019 Southeast Asian Games, 30th SEAG, Brunei Darusallam, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Sports Center manager, Cebu City Sports Commission, Cebuano, Cebuano sports, Edward Hayco, Philippine Olympic Committee Chairman, Ricky Ballesteros, sea, SEAG Federation Council, Southeast Asian Games, Thailand, Tom Carrasco, top Cebuano sports

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