MANILA - The entrance theme played as Philippine athletes marched on stage during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games was an ode to all Filipinos, not just Manila, a tournament organizer said Monday, after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio complained the song was "not inclusive."
"The song depicts not only Manila, but the whole [of] Filipinos," Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara told reporters.
"Everytime we go out of the country, they always think about Manila as a capital," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter earlier questioned why organizers chose a song named after the Philippine capital, when there are athletes who hailed from other parts of the country.
"Di po ba Philippine flag ang dala? Why would you play the song Manila? Did Lapu-Lapu die for Manila?" said Duterte-Carpio, who traces her roots from Visayas and Mindanao.
"We should be inclusive when we want to encourage our countrymen to cheer," she said.
Suzara pointed out that despite the song, "most comments" viewed the SEA Games opening ceremony as "very Filipino."
"You will see the comments and [even] critics that it was a truly Filipino opening ceremony," he said.