We are all aware of the several mishaps that happened leading up to the official launch of the 30th SEA Games on November 30, 2019. But you have to admit, it’s like they never happened after witnessing the grand spectacle that was the opening ceremony at the Philippine Arena.
The ceremony began by showing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte sitting next to His Majesty, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan & Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, after panning over the massive crowd of proud Filipinos, waving mini Philippine flags in support of the country’s competing athletes.
After the lights dimmed and a short countdown played, a series of musical performances set fire to the stage. The opening ceremony took everyone’s breath away with cultural dances, songs of pride, and a parade of Southeast Asia’s mighty athletes.
The Top 10 most notable moments of the SEA Games 2019 Opening Ceremony
The Philippine National Anthem led by Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha
When the crowd was asked to stand for the Philippine national anthem, led by Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha, ecstatic screams quickly turned into solemn pride, and you could just feel that something amazing was about to take place.
The opening act by a dancer dressed as Ibong Adarna
The entire opening ceremony was chock full of thematic performances that pertained to Filipino culture. The first one to take the stage was a dancer dressed as the Ibong Adarna, the famous mythical bird of 16th Century Filipino literature.
Cultural dances that tell of the Philippines’ rich history
The opening featured quite a few folk dances but the one that probably stood out the most and had the crowd cheering to the beat of the kawayan was Singkil, an elegant Maranao folk dance that originated in Southern Philippines.
The parade of athletes held in Santacruzan fashion
Brunei Darussalam was the first to enter, and the Philippines last. Delegates of the Philippines walked to the tune of “Manila” by the Hotdogs, with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach leading the way. President Duterte was also spotted jamming to the music, which was kind of adorable TBH.
The SEA games federation flag carried by notable athletes in Philippine history
After President Duterte officially declared the opening of the games, the SEA games federation flag was brought in by some of the most notable Filipino athletes in Philippine history, namely Lydia De Vega-Mercado, Akiko Thomson-Guevarra, Eric Buhain, Alvin Patrimonio, Bong Coo, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, and Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno.
Performances by internationally known Filipino artists
A medley of songs and rap, including the official SEA Games theme song “We Win As One” were performed by world-renowned Filipino artists such as apl.de.ap, KZ Tandingan, The TNT Boys, along with other notable Filipino artists such as Christian Bautista, Robert Seña, Inigo Pascual, Elmo Magalona, Jed Madela, Anna Fegi, Aicelle Santos, and Lani Misalucha.
A stunning Parol presentation
Of course, since the event is happening right around Christmas, it was only fitting to include a number that featured traditional Philippine Christmas lanterns.
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Nesthy Petecio as torchbearers
Manny Pacquiao running as one of the torchbearers was pretty epic. He was later joined by boxer Nesthy Petecio.
A spectacular fireworks display
The fireworks display is something you’d have to watch for yourself, even if it’s just through the videos available online, to fully get a sense of how glorious it was.
The grand finish
The show concluded with each and every performer on stage, which displayed just how big of a production the opening ceremony was.
The entire production definitely showcased just how much there is to be proud of as people of the Philippines. The preparations for the SEA Games were not perfect, but the opening ceremony did a great job of reflecting our resilient Filipino spirit.