MANILA, Philippines – Instead of becoming a source of pride, the Philippines' hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games thus far has become a source of humiliation – a national facepalm moment.
Less than a week before the SEA Games unfolds at the Philippine Arena, concerns about the Philippines' hosting flooded social media, following viral posts about athletes and delegates encountering logistical mishaps. (READ: Football teams grumble: SEA Games hosting chaotic)
Timor Leste waited for almost 3 hours at the airport before its football team got picked up, only to be shuttled at the “wrong hotel.” #SeaGames2019 FULL STORY: https://t.co/d16YCbMmO4 pic.twitter.com/2ETyZbkzIB — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) November 24, 2019
There's no sparing even the Philippine athletes. The country's own women's football squad suffered the same problems that troubled visiting teams from rival countries in the run-up for the #SEAGames2019. READ: https://t.co/2hXVH4juyf pic.twitter.com/iqtUrZETOb — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) November 24, 2019
Many users are calling out the alleged corruption behind the event's preparations.
Sobrang lantaran ng corruption sa #SEAGames2019. Talamak ang overpricing at pagtitipid sa mga atleta at sa mga volunteers. We need to hold people accountable for this scam. Starting with Alan Peter Cayetano down to every single person who is a party in this money-making scheme. — Justin Mondragon (@jjcdizon) November 19, 2019 Bakit ganun? Yung Japan gumagamit ng recycled materials for Tokyo Olympics, pero mukha pa ring sosyal. Samantalang itong Duterte Admin, bilyon-bilyon na ang nagastos pero mukha pa ring dugyot ang #SEAGames2019? https://t.co/Uk8oxNPjH4 — Alt Bobong Marcos (@alt_BBM) November 20, 2019
One Twitter user even redesigned the tarpaulin welcoming the athletes and delegates at the airport.
hmmm i tried #SeaGames2019 pic.twitter.com/1ydjn6q65m — josh (@Joshgrn_) November 22, 2019
Another one shared her thoughts on the SEA Games 2019 mobile app.
Last week, netizens also expressed shock and disbelief over the P50-million cauldron built for the torch-lighting ceremony at New Clark City in Tarlac. (READ: [EDITORIAL] Ang higanteng face palm na SEA Games 2019)
A wise philosopher once said, "it's the money that counts." #SEAGames2019 pic.twitter.com/TB9rRSxxpE — Malacañang Events and Catering Services (@MalacananEvents) November 18, 2019 Hanggang saan aabot ang P359 million mo? #SEAGames2019 pic.twitter.com/IeI3aVzN1r — Malacañang Events and Catering Services (@MalacananEvents) November 19, 2019
The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee has since apologized for the logistical mess, saying that organizers must "be more diligent." (READ: SEA Games organizers sorry for inconvenience, confusion)
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also denied that the firing of Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs was a diversion from the issues surrounding the Philippines' hosting of the SEA Games. (READ: Panelo denies Robredo firing an attempt to distract from SEA Games mess)
Here are more reactions from social media users on the logistics for SEA Games 2019:
#SEAGamesFail - Curated tweets by RapplerSports
Meanwhile, some social media users are drumming up support for our athletes and their events, and also inviting everyone to extend help through the SEA Games volunteer page.
We need people willing to support sports, not people using sports to support themselves. #supportourathletes #SEAGames2019 — gretchen malalad (@gretchenmalalad) November 20, 2019 Para maiba naman... Sige. Try natin. Message the SEA Games volunteer page and offer to help! It might not be too late to extend a helping hand. Tara. Solutions guys — Ria Atayde (@RiaAtayde) November 24, 2019 Question is — What can we do to save this? #SEAGames2019 — Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) November 24, 2019
What are your thoughts on the Philippines' hosting of the 30th SEA Games so far? Let us know in the comments. – Rappler.com