SEA Games 2019 news and features - updates

Rappler's latest stories on SEA Games 2019 news and features


Hero surfer Casugay beats Indonesian he saved before golden ride

Dec 08, 2019 - 2:14 PM

Filipino surfer Roger Casugay bags the gold medal in the longboard event against compatriot Rogelio Esquivel

Sea Games Surfing Finals, in San Juan, La Union... Philippines Roger Casugay of Siargao rescued his Indonesian rival Arit Nurhidayat two days ago in their longboard heat. They resumed their battle and Casugay won. He now fights Filipino JayR Esquivel in the finals. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Gilas cautious in romp of Myanmar: 'We don't want to discourage them'

Dec 08, 2019 - 1:40 PM

Tim Cone says Gilas Pilipinas wants Myanmar to keep coming back in the SEA Games despite breezing through a 69-point win

DOMINATION. Gilas Pilipinas has won its first 3 games in the 2019 SEA Games by a whopping margin of 162 points. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Skater Means relishes PH team debut: 'It is my dream'

Dec 08, 2019 - 1:01 PM

Rising Fil-Am skateboarder Christiana Means proves to be as entertaining as she’s good

Filipino skateboarder Christiana Means gets the silver medal in the women's street skateboarding event of the 30th SEA Games at the Tagaytay Extreme Sports Complex on December 7, 2019. Photo by Mary Grace dela Cerna/Rappler

Netizens rally behind Agatha Wong after 'I'm a Filipina more than anything' tweet

Dec 08, 2019 - 11:20 AM

After winning two gold medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Philippine wushu star Agatha Wong took to Twitter to respond to her critics

Agatha Chrystenz Wong of the Philippines performs in the wome's Taijijian Wushu competition with a 9.65 points in the 30th SEA Games on December 3, 2019 at the World Trade Center. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Junna Tsukii 'bullied' by coach after clinching SEA Games karate gold

Dec 08, 2019 - 9:32 AM

'I don't know you in my team, you are not my athlete. I don't want to see you. I don't want to talk to you. You're not living for me. I don't know any Junna Tsukii,’ the national coach tells karate star Junna Tsukii

Maraño praises Valdez for playing through stomach pains

Dec 08, 2019 - 8:43 AM

The Philippine women’s volleyball team rallies together to get its offense going as Alyssa Valdez sits out

GUTSY. Aby Maraño and the Filipina spikers put up a fight despite the odds. Photo by Michael Gatpandan/Rappler

'Heart of gold': Pinoy SEA Games surfer lauded for saving competitor from drowning

Dec 07, 2019 - 5:48 PM

Social media users praise Filipino surfer Roger Casugay for his priceless act of heroism in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games

FROM FOES TO FRIENDS. Indonesian Arip Nurhidayat (left) finds a savior in Filipino rival Roger Casugay (center) during the SEA Games surfing competition.

Fil-Brit boxer John Marvin after shock loss: 'I’ll be back'

Dec 07, 2019 - 5:26 PM

John Marvin admits he’s 'gutted, heartbroken' after failing to defend his SEA Games light heavyweight title

Filipino boxer Marvin John Nobel loses to Truong Dinh Hoang of Vietnam in the men's light heavyweight boxing of the 30th SEA Games on December 5, 2019 at the PICC Forum. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Gymnastics chief rues missed chance of 'distracted' Carlos Yulo

Dec 07, 2019 - 11:38 AM

After Carlos Yulo collected 2 golds and 5 silvers, Philippine gymnastics president Cynthia Carrion thinks her top ward could have completed a golden sweep

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Vietnam finds Fajardo code hard to crack as 'Kraken' breaks loose

Dec 07, 2019 - 10:49 AM

June Mar Fajardo runs roughshod over Vietnam as Gilas Pilipinas follows up its 52-point rout of Singapore with a 41-point blowout in the 2019 SEA Games

DOMINANT FORCE. June Mar Fajardo overpowers Vietnam to help Gilas Pilipinas punch its semifinals ticket in the 2019 SEA Games. Photo by Jerrick Reymarc/Rappler

'Wiser' Tim Cone not taking things for granted in SEA Games

Dec 06, 2019 - 12:30 PM

Gilas Pilipinas may be the heavy favorite but coach Tim Cone doesn't want the team to fall into the same trap that doomed past Philippine teams

FEET ON THE GROUND. Tim Cone wants Gilas Pilipinas to not take any opponent lightly in the 2019 SEA Games. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

[PODCAST] May conflict of interest ba si Alan Cayetano sa SEA Games 2019?

Dec 06, 2019 - 12:21 PM

Paano napunta sa ilalim ng kontrol ni Alan Peter Cayetano ang bilyon-bilyong pondo para sa 30th Southeast Asian Games 2019? Pakinggan sa talakayan nina House reporter Mara Cepeda and researcher-writer Jodesz Gavilan.

Joseph Schooling targets Olympics return in SEA Games 2019

Dec 06, 2019 - 11:37 AM

Swimming star Joseph Schooling competes in the Philippine hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with an Olympic berth on the line

ON THE LINE. Joseph Schooling races in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games for a chance to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Photo by Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

Cayetano’s Phisgoc gets award from Phisgoc-endorsed body

Dec 05, 2019 - 11:15 PM

The Sports Industry Award Asia's own website says it is ‘endorsed’ and ‘supported’ by the Cayetano-led SEA Games organizing committee

'SPECIAL AWARD?' Phisgoc chair Alan Peter Cayetano receives his trophy from SPIA CEO Eric Gottschalk on December 3, 2019. Photo from Cayetano's Facebook page

Former gymnast strikes SEA Games gold in obstacle course racing

Dec 05, 2019 - 2:08 PM

Kaizen dela Serna, a former member of the Philippine gymnastics team, finds success in obstacle course racing

CHAMP. Kaizen dela Serna is part of the Philippines' 4 gold-medal haul in SEA Games obstacle course racing. Photo from Instagram/@delasernakaizen

James Deiparine credits Filipino crowd for record-breaking swim

Dec 05, 2019 - 1:43 PM

'I could really hear the crowd really, really loud. I knew that I was out fast,' Fil-Am swimmer James Deiparine says of his 2019 SEA Games golden performance

GOLDEN BOY. James Deiparine tops the men's 100m breaststroke in the 2019 SEA Games. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Lovin' Lavin? Singapore's Raj an instant SEA Games crowd favorite

Dec 05, 2019 - 8:37 AM

Filipino basketball fans surprisingly shower Singapore's 6-foot-7 teen Lavin Raj with cheers

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. Lavin Raj utilizes the opportunity of going up against PBA players to improve his game. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Manuel earns Cone praise in Gilas Pilipinas debut

Dec 05, 2019 - 2:39 AM

He may be one of the last players fielded but Vic Manuel still provides quality minutes as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to a 52-point romp of Singapore

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT. Vic Manuel shines in his first official game for Gilas Pilipinas. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

LOOK: Carlos Yulo 'shocked' by Mark Bautista's DM

Dec 04, 2019 - 4:17 PM

Filipino artist Mark Bautista slides into Carlos Yulo's DMs to congratulate him

Seeking first SEA Games gold, Efren 'Bata' Reyes plays in unique pool event

Dec 04, 2019 - 2:30 PM

Arguably the greatest pool player of all time, Efren 'Bata' Reyes aims to add that elusive SEA Games gold medal to his collection

SWAN SONG. Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes represents the Philippines in what could be his last SEA Games. File photo by Sajjad Hussain/AFP

Azkals look to end group stages on triumphant note

Dec 04, 2019 - 11:31 AM

Their medal hopes hang by a string but the Philippine Azkals vow to stay in contention in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games

TALL ORDER. Stephan Schrock and the Azkals seek a dominant win over Timor-Leste to keep their semifinals hopes alive. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/EPA-EFE

Fighting the PR war

Dec 03, 2019 - 10:15 PM

It's different now

‘Dota 2’: What you need to know

Dec 03, 2019 - 6:28 PM

The esports juggernaut will be a medal event at the 2019 SEA Games

DOTA 2. Image from Dota 2 website

‘Dota 2’: Pro tips from the Sibol players

Dec 03, 2019 - 6:22 PM

The members of the Dota 2 national team for the 2019 SEA Games share their tips to help you get a leg up against the competition

SIBOL. From left to right, John Anthony 'Natsumi' Vargas, Mc Nicholson 'Mac' Villanueva, Marvin Salvador 'Boomy' Rushton, Bryle Jacob 'CML' Alvizo, and Jun 'Bok' Kanehara. Photo by Kyle Chua/Rappler

Volunteers without leaders do what they can for SEA Games 2019

Dec 03, 2019 - 5:33 PM

(UPDATED) ‘I’m not serving them (organizers); I'm serving my country. I won't let them snuff out the fire in us volunteers, who did not do it for experience, but for civil duty and nationalism,’ says one volunteer from Manila

The 30th Southeast Asian Games opening at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on November 30, 2019. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Teen coach Chino Mulingtapang leads PH speed skating team

Dec 03, 2019 - 3:06 PM

Meet Chino Mulingtapang, the gutsy 18-year-old senior high school student calling the shots for the Philippine speed skating team

MAJOR TASK. Chino Mulingtapang hopes to steer the national speed skating tea, to a breakthrough gold. Photo by Alexx Esponga/Rappler

Follow the money: This week's outlook

Dec 03, 2019 - 11:15 AM

While the road to the SEA Games was paved with good intentions, it’s riddled with holes that are being covered up now by a massive propaganda network

'Pressured' Hidilyn Diaz draws inspiration from home crowd

Dec 03, 2019 - 10:29 AM

Before bagging the SEA Games gold, weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz admits feeling nervous as her parents watched live for the first time

UNDISPUTED. Hidilyn Diaz may have won in the world stage, but she says there were times she doubted herself. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

All-star PH billiards team targets at least 4 golds in SEA Games 2019

Dec 03, 2019 - 12:43 AM

Efren 'Bata' Reyes, Dennis Orcollo, Carlo Biado, and Rubilen Amit banner the Philippines' star-studded billiards lineup

OLD BUT GOLD. Efren "Bata" Reyes will see action in three-cushion carom in what is likely his last SEA Games hurrah. File photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Sacrifice worth it for Bernardino, Gilas Women after SEA Games triumph

Dec 02, 2019 - 11:55 PM

Despite dealing with a sprained thumb, Afril Bernardino puts the team on her back as the Philippines strikes gold in 3x3 basketball

CHAMPION. Afril Bernardino (second from left) makes sure she will end the 2019 SEA Games 3x3 basketball competitions with a gold medal dangling from her neck. Photo by Jerrick Reymarc/Rappler

Government offensive: Info operations attack media to manage SEA Games PR crisis

Dec 02, 2019 - 9:55 PM

From #Seagames2019fail to #Seagamesnotafailure – Rappler maps how the conversations on the SEA Games pan out on social media

MANAGING A CRISIS. Rappler looks at how the strong pro-Duterte network on social media jumped in to shift narratives on SEA Games.

Emotions run high as PH water polo ends 8-year medal drought

Dec 02, 2019 - 2:18 PM

The Philippine men's water polo team crashes back into the podium with a silver medal in the 2019 SEA Games

SILVER. The Philippine men's water polo team gives the country a silver medal finish in the 2019 SEA Games. Rappler screenshot

[EDITORIAL] Ano ang gintong aral ng mga gintong medalya?

Dec 02, 2019 - 11:47 AM

Another gold that the SEA Games can bring – the cautionary tale of entrusting our national pride and coffers to power brokers and slick politicians

SCHEDULE: SEA Games 2019 volleyball competitions

Dec 01, 2019 - 11:22 PM

Boasting powerhouse rosters, the Philippine volleyball teams vow to regain lost regional glory in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games

Glitz and glamour as dancesport waltzes into SEA Games 2019

Dec 01, 2019 - 6:50 PM

Once called through the stage curtain and into the spotlights, the couples twirl and shimmy across the dance floor as the capacity crowd roars

DANCESPORT. The Philippines' Sean Mischa Aranar (L) and Ana Leonila Nualla (R) perform during the dancesport event in the Southeast Asian Games in Clark, Capas, Tarlac on December 1, 2019. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Sara Duterte slams use of 'Manila' song in SEA Games opening

Dec 01, 2019 - 11:24 AM

Taking the stand of those in Mindanao who felt the song was inappropriate, Sara Duterte asks, 'Didn't they carry the Philippine flag? Why would you play the song Manila?'

SARA DUTERTE. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, prepares to depart from the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, Japan after attending the state banquet hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on October 23, 2019. File photo by King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo

After mishaps, SEA Games redemption comes in grand opening ceremonies

Dec 01, 2019 - 2:15 AM

Days after dealing with hosting woes, the Philippines officially kicks off the 2019 SEA Games with a hitch-free opening ceremonies

WIN AS ONE. Filipino athletes and sports officials proudly wave the Philippine flag in the opening ceremonies, showing their unity as the Philippines seeks its first overall SEA Games title in 14 years. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Mangrobang, Chicano race for PH's first SEA Games 2019 gold

Dec 01, 2019 - 12:50 AM

Kim Mangrobang vies to defend her triathlon crown as John Chicano targets his first gold

1ST GOLD. Kim Mangrobang (left) and John Chicano aim to cop the first gold for the Philippines. Photos by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Duterte, Pacquiao open SEA Games 2019 as typhoon nears

Nov 30, 2019 - 11:03 PM

In a spectacle filled with Philippine tradition and stardom, the nation welcomes thousands of competitors from around the region for 11 days of games

GAMES NOW OPEN. President Rodrigo Duterte open the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on November 30, 2019. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Duterte jives to 'Manila' in SEA Games 2019 opening ceremonies

Nov 30, 2019 - 10:52 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte gets jiggy with it to Hotdog's OPM classic 'Manila'

CHILL. A laid-back President Rodrigo Duterte graces the 2019 Southeast Asian Games opening ceremonies. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Netizens praise 'spectacular' SEA Games 2019 opening ceremonies

Nov 30, 2019 - 10:29 PM

What's your favorite moment during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games opening ceremonies?

Trip down memory lane as Filipino icons grace SEA Games 2019 opening

Nov 30, 2019 - 10:09 PM

Eight Filipino sporting legends gather for one night and take centerstage in a memorable SEA Games spectacle

LEGENDS ONLY. Filipino icons (from left, clockwise) Lydia de Vega, Akiko Thomson, Eric Buhain, Alvin Patrimonio, Bong Coo, Efren 'Bata' Reyes, Onyok Velasco, and Paeng Nepomuceno serve as flagbearers in the Southeast Asian Games opening ceremonies. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

FULL LIST: Performers at the SEA Games 2019 opening

Nov 30, 2019 - 9:20 PM

Salute to all the singers and dancers!

FILIPINO PRIDE. The 30th Southeast Asian Games opening at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on November 30, 2019. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Duterte attending SEA Games 2019 opening ceremony

Nov 30, 2019 - 6:13 PM

Many of the details remain a secret, although the show's director, Filipino writer Floy Quintos, shares a photo on Facebook of hundreds of performers in colorful costumes on stage

TIGHT SECURITY. Crowd starts to gather at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan for the opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games on November 30, 2019. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

SEA Games 2019: Expect a 'Super Bowl halftime' opening show

Nov 30, 2019 - 2:48 PM

The 2019 Southeast Asian Games officially kicks off with an opening ceremony featuring top Filipino artists and a display of world-class technology

BIG SHOW. Filipino fans start to gather at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan for the opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games on November 30, Saturday. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

A non-Filipino's guide to the 2019 SEA Games opening ceremonies

Nov 30, 2019 - 10:46 AM

Here's a quick guide to the Filipino cultural icons you may see at the one-and-a-half hour show

FILIPINO CULTURE. Dancers rehearse the singkil, a traditional Filipino folk dance from the Maranao people of Mindanao, ahead of the 2019 SEA Games opening ceremonies. Photo by Geo Yusooncho

SCHEDULE: SEA Games 2019 basketball competitions

Nov 30, 2019 - 2:27 AM

The Philippine men's basketball team looks to reassert its mastery as the women's side shoots for a breakthrough run in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games

Photo from

Indonesia sports board denies athlete cut off over virginity – report

Nov 30, 2019 - 1:39 AM

Indonesia's Ministry of Youth and Sports says the female gymnast was replaced due to her misbehavior

Photo from Shutterstock

Duterte apologizes to foreign teams for SEA Games 2019 woes

Nov 29, 2019 - 11:08 PM

The President says the Malacañang probe into the SEA Games would not spare his allies even if the controversy could cause their political downfall

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech after leading the awarding ceremony for the 2018 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC) at the Malacañan Palace on November 28, 2019. Malacañang photo

Multi-billion SEA Games 2019 fund follows Cayetano where he goes

Nov 29, 2019 - 10:35 PM

The money trail shows SEA Games organizing committee chair Alan Peter Cayetano has control over the budget regardless of which agency the money is lodged under

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the organizing committee of the 30th SEA Games, delivers his speech before foreign dignitaries, sponsors, and Filipino athletes during their site visit on October 16, 2019 at New Clark City. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler