Pinoy performers share Olympic experience

by Jomel Anthony Gutierrez, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jul 28 2012 06:24 PM | Updated as of Jul 30 2012 07:00 PM

LONDON – The London 2012 Olympics officially began with the historic, fun-filled opening ceremony where one billion people across the globe watched and 80,000 spectators filled the newly-built Olympic Stadium at Stratford.

The Philippine Team joined the parade wearing their national costume designed by Rajo Laurel. The first Filipino weightlifter for the Olympic, Hidilyn Diaz, was the flag bearer.

Pinoy performers share their experience during the opening of the Olympic Games in London

But it was not only the 11-man Philippine team that shined during the opening ceremony.

Pinoy volunteer performers were also part of the opening ceremony, practicing for more than 4 months for the event.

“We’ve been practicing for few months now. It was difficult but a fun, fantastic experience,” said Edwin de la Cruz.

Cleo Sagun echoed de la Cruz’ sentiment and added that he is proud that he was part of the historic opening ceremony.

“It’s very tiring tapos yun bang kalaban namin is rain. Yung mga ginagawa namin is really, really intense and strenuous. But it’s amazing to be part of it and I’m so thrilled,” he said.

Some Pinoys performed in the event to represent their own profession as nurses and doctors in the United Kingdom. They performed during the opening ceremony as part for the National Health Service or NHS.
“It’s overwhelming to present na ikaw ay nurse at the same time sa field of play dito sa magaganap na Olympic ceremony nurse kami and doctors. Very proud kaming i-promote na galing pa kami sa Pilipinas,” said Glendelyn Flores.

Yoga teacher Patricia Olabre was also thrilled to be part of what she described as an unforgettable experience.

Patricia Olabre is seen here wearing her industrial revolution costume

“Today's the day! 7 years in the making and we’ve finally arrived at Friday 27 July 2012, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad here in London. In just a few hours I will be at the centre of it all, giving the performance of my life as the whole world looks on. OMG!,” Olabre stated on her Facebook account.

Olabre was cheered on by her husband James and their one-year old daughter, Aleida.

“Woooo! I can’t believe what just transpired. Did we make London proud? Yeah, baby!,” she added.

Only praises for Boyle

The London 2012 opening ceremony was directed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. Boyle gained praises and accolades from Pinoy performers for his professionalism and cool personality.

“As a director he is very cool. Nandyan siya everyday. He’s very punctual. He makes sure he says hi to everyone,” said Louis John Capadosa.

Flores also stressed that Boyle gave everyone an equal treatment during the rehearsals.

“He treats us very good. He treated us equally. Regardless of who you are, saan ka nanggaling,” she said.

Filipino-Pakistani Mehreen Umar described Boyle as a friendly and very approachable director.

“I think he was amazing. He was always upbeat, always smiling. He was always in the rehearsals and thanking us at the end of the session,” she said. 

Orchid Tunaya also praised Boyle for his humility and for being a friendly person.

“He was very humble to meet us and go out of his way to talk to us personally,” said Tunaya whose husband is in active military duty as a member of the US Air Force deployed in Afghanistan.

She said Boyle was very willing to listen when she told her about her situation.

“Just that small talk with him was a big support for me to move on, and go on with my training,” she said.

After the big event last night, some of the Filipino performers in the opening ceremony will also perform again in the Paralympics event next month.