SEA Games opening: Awe at PH Arena, lockdown at Clark


Posted at Dec 01 2019 04:18 AM | Updated as of Dec 01 2019 08:59 AM

Filipino sports fans had varied reactions to the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games as they trooped to two different locations for Saturday's event. 

Fans who trooped to the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, site of the first indoor SEA Games opening ceremony, were in a festive mood during the tightly produced, nearly 2-hour event officially kicking off the regional competition.

People were singing along and dancing to's "Bebot" and the Francis Magalona medley featuring Inigo Pascual, Elmo Magalona and KZ Tandingan, two numbers that had everyone standing up and whipping out their smartphones to take pictures of the performances.

But the loudest cheers and most energetic applause were saved for Team Philippines' entrance.

As the host, the national delegation representing athletes and officials came in 11th and last in the traditional parade of nations.

Their march onstage took some 10 minutes, as Hotdog's "Manila" played in a loop, and had the home spectators chanting to its tune and descending into ovation.

On the other hand, spectators who wanted to witness the lighting of the cauldron at New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas town, Tarlac were disappointed after the area was placed on lockdown hours before the event. 

SEA Games opening: Awe at PH Arena, lockdown at Clark 1
Spectators who trooped to New Clark City Sports Complex are disappointed to find out that the venue is on lockdown for the opening of the Southeast Asian Games on Saturday. While the opening ceremonies will happen at Philippine Arena in Bulacan, fans were hoping to see the lighting of the cauldron at the outdoor stadium in Capas town, Tarlac. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Some of the spectators waited the whole day just to catch a glimpse of the ceremony. 

"Ang sinabi po sa'min, free nga daw 'yung pagpunta dito. Free nga daw opening ngayon ng SEA Games. Magkakaroon daw ng fireworks, tapos libre 'yung pagpasok. Ngayon wala naman pala," said Ernesto Domingo, who came from Tarlac expecting to witness the SEA Games launch.

Security personnel reportedly told fans there would be no more activities at the sports complex, only for spectators to see fireworks lighting up the sky.

“It’s better to tell the truth sa tao. Kasi ang tao very open 'yan, once na sinabi mo ang totoo. Pero ang masakit 'yung paasahin mo 'yung tao na walang mangyayari sa loob pero meron pala. Harap-harapang nakita,” said Kathleen Muñoz from Angeles City.

A security guard said they were only following orders. "Wala po talaga tayong magagawa kasi po locked down na po talaga ang buong area namin. 'Yun po ang utos ng nasa itaas," he said. 

On Sunday, the venues in New Clark City will be open to fans with tickets who want to watch the Games. With a report from Trisha Mostoles, ABS-CBN News