MANILA -- Citing his own experience as a SEA Games athlete in the 1970s, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday he spent for his own meals, as he addressed criticism of the Philippines' hosting of the biennial meet.
Some visiting athletes have complained on social media that they were not allowed to check in early and were served food that were either not nutritious or not Halal-certified.
The Philippines has been "too hospitable," said Sotto, who competed in the men’s 10-pin bowling competitions in the 1978 Asian Games. The former movie actor and television host also participated as a player and coach in the 1977, 1979 and 1981 SEA Games, and in the 1978 and 1985 World Cup.
"In the SEA/Asian games I've participated in, we were left by the host country to fend for ourselves," Sotto said.
"If possible, they even make us uncomfortable to make sure we lose to them. Why do you think the host country always wins?" he said. "We spent for our meals and other expenses even lodging."
"There are times when we should stop bickering about petty things!” he said.
Competition in some events started this week ahead of the formal opening of the SEA Games on Saturday.