Hot from the Cauldron: Here’s the Tea About the 30th SEA Games

From an overpriced cauldron to kikiam, the government is doing its black magic trick AGAIN and we’re all getting played. As the host country of this year’s Southeast Asian Games, people are so enraged and embarrassed by the same old dirty tactics of the government. If turning a blind eye and believing that we should just look on the bright side are still your retorts against this issue—dude, think again.

Anomalies about the whole 30th SEA Games fiasco have scattered—literally—all over the globe and social media. Since we’re all sick and tired of discussing the unfinished facilities, inadequate food, poor hotel accommodation, and all this BS, here is just a recap of what happened. 

If being incompetent is a sport, government officials would be the proud to show off their gold medals as the champions of the competition. Well, just stating facts!

In case you haven’t heard of this, thousands of Aetas were displaced to give way to the New Clark City under the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration. They were even forced to sign a contract without knowing its content and that should make you angrier. Yes, we need an ideal venue for this kind of event, but—sorry to burst your privileged bubble—you cannot call it development when you exclude the marginalized for the sake of business and profit. As you binge-watch your favorite series at home, have you ever thought, where are they now? Or are you just gonna ignore it and enjoy your Netflix subscription? 

The government has all the money to stage an event, but not enough of it to provide the bare minimum and, of course, to support the needs of the hard-working volunteers who are doing their best to make the 30th SEA Games a word-class competition amidst all the issues.

Filipino journalist Raffy Tima shared his misnamed ID.

The budget breakdown was released with a total of six billion in expenses, which is definitely unjustifiable. No wonder the kiksilog received a backlash. So, where did our taxes go? This isn’t the first time and this isn’t just about the 30th SEA Games. We’ve been dealing with the government’s clownery for a very long time. May this be a wake-up call for everyone to get involved, educate yourself, and defend your country—not your political idols—against the continuous injustice.

Other countries may not agree that it’s more fun in the Philippines after experiencing this kind of mess. All the SEA Games woes are bound to affect the perception of tourists from the ASEAN region towards the Philippines. We may not notice, but this has a negative impact on Philippine tourism as well. The world has witnessed the anomalies in the 30th SEA Games—it even reached the international media. This is a possible threat that might discourage them and other tourists from visiting the Philippines again. Tourists do not only focus on main attractions and beautiful places; it is very important for them to experience a warm welcome and proper accommodation in all aspects, which is something we failed to do. 

On a positive note, Filipino chef Poch Jorolan, who is a part of the culinary team, manned the kitchen at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City. Halal-certified food such as sotanghon, pizza, egg sandwich, lemon cucumber juice, and boulangerie were served for Muslim athletes. Some desserts were also shared by another chef from New Clark City. Finally, a decent meal for the athletes!

Netizens were impressed as the Muntinlupa Sports Complex where the badminton event will be held is all set, as well as the Subic Gym, which is the venue for the sepak takraw competition. The Clark International Airport is now dressed up and ready to accommodate the participants. Kudos to the organizers and volunteers of these respective venues!

Despite the mishaps and controversies, the 30th SEA Games still pulled off a spectacular and stunning opening ceremony at Philippine Arena that made the Filipinos proud. Again, thank you to all the volunteers and organizers who stepped up and cleaned the mess.

Let us all continue to support our beloved athletes who are representing the Philippines. We must always multitask—we can cheer for our athletes, praise the good sides of the 30th SEA Games, and still demand for accountability from the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) at the same time. Nothing is wrong with criticizing the government and 2019 SEA Games, knowing it clearly affects so many people in the process. Our athletes and guests deserve better than this.

After all, congratulations to our dearest Filipino athletes!

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Kayla Ramos

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