MANILA, Philippines – The hotel housing the women's football teams for the 30th Southeast Asian Games has responded to complaints from the athletes after issues about their accommodations cropped up on social media over the past couple of days.
Edgardo M. Capulong, president and chairman of the board of Whitewoods Convention & Leisure Hotel in Silang, Cavite sent a letter addressed to William "Butch" Ramirez, the chef de mission of Team Philippines, airing their side of the issue.
In the letter, Capulong denied the claim of Let Dimzon, the coach of the Philippine Malditas, that they were served kikiam at breakfast on Monday.
"Coach Dimzon testified on national television that our menu for breakfast was 'kikiam,' which in fact is actually chicken sausage," said Capulong.
"We have proof of this, and the PHISGOC food audit team in the hotel that are on top of the food inspection during, before and after cooking and during meal time, can attest to the fact that it was not 'kikiam,'" he added.
"The other Pinoy athletes also know that they ate chicken sausage."
Kikiam is not in the hotel's menu, Capulong added.
"Our food serving is generous, because we decided a free and open buffet service complete with egg omelet station that is not part of our contract," he added.
Capulong also expressed his disappointment at how a member of the Philippine team, Hali Long, went to social media to air her grievances after their check-in was delayed. Long posted pictures on Facebook of the national team staying in a function room while they waited for their rooms to be prepared.
"We regret that this athlete did not direct the concern to the management or to your duly appointed facilitator, but resorted immediately to clicking her Facebook, which went viral very fast," said Capulong.
"It still continues to create negative comments against your very good office and ours," he noted.
Capulong also said that the Philippine team "brought Baliwag Lechon for dinner without coordinating" with the food audit committee. This, he said, "is a clear violation of our agreement that no oil, pork be served due to the sensitivity issue with our Muslim athletes."
"Again, we are so sad because our very own Pinoy athletes are the very first one to destroy our dignity as Filipinos," he said. "Where is our sense of nationalism?"
"What is the point of winning gold for our country if we recklessly destroy other people and our honor as a nation and the Philippine Sports Commission as an institution? All our efforts and undertaking will be in vain because of a few careless, insensitive athletes of ours spreading wrong info," he added.
Capulong said their hotel remains dedicated to "providing the best accommodation and food service to our guests," and hopes the letter puts the issue at rest.
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