MANILA -- Tagaytay City on Monday hosted the Philippine leg of the torch relay for Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
From Cambodia's Tourism Minister Hor Sarun to Cambodian Ambassador to the Philippines Phan Peuv, the torch was passed on to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.
"We warmly welcome the SEA Games Torch which is now celebrating Cambodia's first-time hosting of the games," Tolentino said. "Just like in our SEA Games hosting in 2019, we value this celebration not only for sports but for peace and camaraderie in the region."
The Torch Relay began on De los Reyes Avenue in front of the Tagaytay City BMX and Skate Park, traversed Mahogany Road and back to the same Start/Finish area via Isaac Tolentino Avenue.
Athletes in cycling, taekwondo, football, kickboxing and boxing carried the torch along with Philippine Paralympic Committee head Mike Barredo and Commissioner Walter Torres of the Philippine Sports Commission.
Chito Loyzaga, Team Philippines' chef de mission to the Cambodia SEA Games, then carried the torch at the penultimate 14th station before the Cambodian delegation completed the ceremony to festive music provided by the Tagaytay City drum and bugle band.
The 32nd SEA Games will take place in Cambodia from May 5-17. The Philippines will send a delegation of 840 athletes who will compete in 608 events in 38 sports.
"Everybody will be competing for a medal, but that's secondary. Building friendship among Southeast Asian nations is the primary objective of the Games," Tolentino said.
The Torch Relay started in Cambodia last Wednesday at the World Heritage Site Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and passed on the flame to last year's host Vietnam.
After the Philippines, the torch will travel to Brunei, Timor Leste, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos before returning to Cambodia on April 27.