Demonstrating solidarity and understanding through sports, the Philippines will participate in the 29th Southeast Asian Games “Rising Together Baton Run.”
Ronnel Abrenica, senior executive assistant of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and coordinator for the government sports body, said the historic sports event is set at 6:00 a.m. on March 12, which covers a total distance of 7.70 kilometers that will start at Malacanang grounds and finished at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City.
Olympic heroine Hidilyn Diaz, who just bestowed the time-honored “Athlete of the Year” award by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) for his sterling silver medal performance in the Rio Olympics; and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, six-times recipient of the same honor will lead other runners in the baton run.
Other guests in the run include Gilas Pilipinas players, members of the national training pool in athletics, para-athletes Jerrold Mangliwan and Josephine Medina, athletes from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), from the education department and Palaro Pambansa athletes.
Also participating groups will be led by Philippine Sports Commission and Embassy of Malaysia.
PSC chair William “Butch” Ramirez emphasized the baton run “is a ritual” full of symbolic meanings, humanity and friendship. The event also in consonance of the Philippines hosting of the Asean Summit.
The SEA Games is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from 11 countries of Southeast Asia supervised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In 1979, the Philippines became a member of the regional sports conclave, and thrice hosted this event, since it first hosting in 1981. In 2005, host Philippines emerged the overall champion. (PNA)