Even as the 2018 Asian Games are going on in Indonesia, with the Philippine athletic delegation still competing in several events with good chances to medal, the country’s Olympic Committee was busy with preparations for another major multi-sports event, the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. It will, after all, be held in the Philippines, specifically hosted by the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone (CFEZ) straddling the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga. Last Sunday, the official logo for the Games was unveiled to the Olympic Council of Asia general assembly. The problem: some netizens do not like how it looks.
As ABS-CBN News tells it, the 2019 SEA Games Logo was presented by Alan Peter Cayetano, Foreign Affairs Secretary and Philippines SEA Games Organizing Committee Chair, to the OCA general assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia this past August 19, while the Asian Games is going on. Sec. Cayetano explained the design as thus: “Our logo will be the 11 circles representing the 11 countries bound together in the shape of the Philippines to symbolize that wherever and whenever the games are played, we are one and we will as one.” It sounded good in theory, but not everyone agrees with it.
On Philippine social media, the SEA Games logo was lambasted for what, in these naysayers’ opinion, was a terribly thought-out design. One commenter compared it to a five-year-old child’s drawing skill, while others compared it unfavorably to the 2005 SEA Games logo, when the country last hosted the event. Still, there were some netizens who decided to defend the aesthetics of the logo. Mostly they were impressed by the concept of forming the Philippine archipelago with interlocking rings representing the 11 participant SEA nations, calling it a variation of the Olympics. Other commentators decried the “lacking patriotism” of the critics.
Whatever other may think, the 2018 SEA Games logo has now began a viral phenomenon. Rappler has been able to cover some of these happenings. Mainly it was in the form of various graphic artists deciding to put their own spin on what a SEA Games logo should be. These alternatives made liberal use of imagery evoking the Philippine Eagle.
Then there were the fan-artists of a more political bent, who decided to alter the interlocking SEA rings to speak out against what would happen to the Philippines in the future, according to possible scenarios. Rappler is encouraging these artistic contributions by offering to upload them on their news platform.
Images courtesy of Interaksyon.tv, Rappler and Brands of the World