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The devil's in the details: 10 logistical blunders at SEA Games 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The lead up to the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), which formally opens Saturday, November 30, is turning out to be a logistical nightmare. 

Social media has been inundated with proof of organizational blunders by host country Philippines, from athletes sleeping in hotel conference rooms, to the lack of proper halal food for Muslim athletes, down to the poor design of the event's logo and mascot. This has even led to the hashtag #SEAGamesFail, where netizens air their frustration and embarrassment

Here are 10 simple but crucial instances where the SEA Games 2019 coordinators stumbled, as documented by both local and foreign press as well as event volunteers: 

1) The press conference for the men's football games were held in an unfinished space at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, reminiscent of an old warehouse. The stadium grounds and other rooms were also still under construction.  

It’s real, guys! #SEAGames2019 @RapplerSports @rapplerdotcom — Bee Go (@beebeego09) November 25, 2019 Filipina tampaknya tidak begitu siap untuk menggelar SEA Games 2019. Stadion Rizal Memorial, yang merupakan satu di antara lokasi pertandingan cabang olahraga, sepakbola masih dalam proses penyelesaian akhir dari perbaikan yang dilakukan. — Goal Indonesia (@GOAL_ID) November 25, 2019

So much for a “Media entrance” to the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium for the #SEAGames2019 men’s football events but it’s locked. @RapplerSports @rapplerdotcom — Bee Go (@beebeego09) November 25, 2019

2) At the press conference itself, there weren't enough microphones to go around.

3) Confusingly, one of the women's comfort rooms in the stadium featured two toilets in a single stall.

2 TOILET BOWL SA ISANG CUBICLE. 'Yan ang namataan sa renovated women's comfort room sa Rizal Stadium kung saan idaraos ang ilang laban sa #SEAGames2019. | via @angelmovido — ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) November 25, 2019

4) GMA journalist Raffy Tima was surprised to find the name "Mariz Tima" printed on his SEA Games ID. This was a likely mix-up with Mariz Umali, also a GMA journalist and, coincidentally, Tima's wife. 

Hello Phisgoc, kaninong ID po ito? Sa akin o kay @marizumali? Asking for a friend  P.S. Sana po papasukin niyo pa rin kami para mag-cover. — Raffy Tima (@raffytima) November 25, 2019

5) A volunteer did not receive proper coordination with his facilitator, witnessed the mismanagement of media IDs, and only received his meal at the very end of his shift. 

Personal experience of a volunteer. #SEAGames2019 — Angie (@1moreangie) November 25, 2019

6) The first football match between Myanmar and Malaysia pushed through without a scoreboard, and the post-match press conference was canceled due to venue troubles.

The first football match between Myanmar vs. Malaysia (1-1) went on without a scoreboard | @beafabregas #SEAGames2019 — CNN Philippines Sports Desk (@sportsdeskph) November 25, 2019

7) The coach for the Philippines' women's football team lamented the lack of proper meals for her athletes. One of their breakfasts, for instance, was just kikiam (fried fish cake), egg, and rice, which she noted was not nutritious enough. 

PH Women’s Football team coach Let Dimzon: “Im not sure kung paano arrangement ng PHISGOC, but the quality and quantity of food is not enough, sa variety din, like for this morning hindi enough yung rice and kikiam and egg, walang nutrients.” — Ron Gagalac (@rongagalac) November 25, 2019

Hi Chef @GordonRamsay. So what can you say about the food they served the athletes during the SEA Games (South East Asian Games) here in the Philippines? This is Kikiam, Rice and Egg. #SEAGamesfail #SEAGames2019fail #SEAGames — Meg Fernandez (@asmegsleeps) November 25, 2019

8) The skating rink at SM Megamall, which is for the speed skating event, is unfinished, dirty, and not properly cordoned off from shoppers. 

ANG DAMING TSAAAAAAA. no need to share the video as the problem is visible naman na. Sa SM ito. #SEAGames2019 #SEAGamesFail — AltABSCBN (@AltABSCBN) November 24, 2019

9) Bags had to be deposited before you could enter Rizal Memorial Stadium, and claiming yours at the end of the day was a sport in and of itself. 

Sobrang lala ng sistema sa pagkuha ng bag sa RMS kala mo may pa-rasyon ng bigas o kaya ng kikiam hahaha bakit kasi bawal ang bag sa stadium? #SEAGames2019fail #SEAGamesfail #SEAGames2019 — Markneel (@kneelsanity) November 26, 2019 Pinagbawal nila lahat ng bags sa loob ng stadium tapos meron silang baggage counter, ngayong tapos ng match di na magkahanapan ng bag. #SeaGame2019 — Wayne (@WeginaldRayne) November 25, 2019

10) The sign for the men's football games were written on a cartolina with black marker, harking back to high school sports events. One netizen even volunteered alternative designs. 

In another incident, a citizen's mock logo for the event ended up on an official tarpaulin. 

Who's excited for Southeast Asian Intramurals? #SEAGames2019 [Taken from Hotel Jen Manila. Courtesy: Sai Mamalo / FB] — Malacañang Events and Catering Services (@MalacananEvents) November 24, 2019

here are my entries #SeaGames2019 i really wanted to be a volunteer kaya lang walang chance. (btw, my students can do better than these) — sir v (@vinsonroi) November 24, 2019

Will the SEA Games' coordinators be able to pick things up by the 30th? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! –