Why ‘Manila’? Sara Duterte questions entrance theme at SEA Games opening

Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2019 01:07 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2019 01:24 PM

Athletes and officials from Philippines march during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan province, north of Manila on Nov. 30, 2019. Contributed photo

DAVAO CITY (UPDATE) - Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio slammed the song choice of organizers for Team Philippines' entrance during Saturday night's opening of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at Philippine Arena.

In her Instagram account Sunday, the President's daughter said organizers should be "inclusive" if they want to encourage Filipinos to cheer on the athletes in these Games.

"Di po ba Philippine flag ang dala? Why would you play the song Manila? Did Lapu-Lapu die for Manila? Wag po natin gawing excuse ang upbeat danceable song. Kami nag-imbento ng budots. Kaloko man oi," Duterte-Carpio said.

(Did they not carry the Philippine flag? Why would you play the song "Manila?" Did Lapu-Lapu die for Manila? Let's not make the excuse that it was an upbeat danceable song. We invented "budots.")

"Yes, nega ako, bakit (Yes, I am negative why)? I am a Filipino but I don't have one drop of Tagalog blood in me. Pure Vismin (Visayas-Mindanao) by birth and Ilocano by marriage. Add na natin (Let's add) German-American for the 'gram," she said.


A post shared by Sara Z. Duterte (@indaysaraduterte) on

The Hotdog song "Manila" was played during the entrance of the Philippine contingent and many in the crowd at the Arena, including President Rodrigo Duterte, jived to the song.

The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), however, said the opening ceremony was "as inclusive as it can be."

"That song was representative of Manila as the capital of the Philippines. When we welcome someone in Manila, it means you’re welcoming everyone to the Philippines," PHISGOC spokesman Jarie Osias told ANC.

"That’s my opinion on that, I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess on the feelings or sentiments of the President’s daughter but I for one am not from Manila, I’m from Las Pinas and my family’s from Bulacan. I did not feel slighted with the choice of the 'Manila' song."

This is the fourth time the country has hosted the regional competition, and first since 2005.