The road of preparations to the 30th Southeast Asian Games, held this year in the Philippines, continues apace. Already tickets for the opening ceremony and several sporting events to be held in Metro Manila and Clark Zone, with more admissions to be opened in the coming days. Speaking of Clark, the newly-built sports facilities there are ready to be competed in. But there are other formalities that needed attending to as the start of the SEA Games draws near. For one, there is still a ceremonial handover that needed to be done between the Philippines and last year’s host, Malaysia.
And so, as ABS-CBN News reports, that this Thursday the flame of competition that symbolizes the Southeast Asian Games was passed on from Malaysia to the Philippines. The handover of the SEA Games flame took place at Kuala Lumpur, at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium that served as the opening venue of the 29th Games of 2018, where the ceremonial cauldron had burned. The ritual shares certain similarities with that of the Olympic Games, which is why representatives from the Olympic Committees of both the Philippines and Malaysia were at hand to facilitate the handover of the SEA Games flame.
Thus at the Bukit Jalil Stadium this October 3, President Norza Zakaria of the Olympic Committee of Malaysia took a burning wick and lit the ceremonial torch for the 2019 SEA Games, set upon a stand, which was received by a delegation from the Philippine Olympic Committee, led by the Women in Sports sub-committee chairwoman Cynthia Carrion. She was accompanied by Philippine Athletes Commission President Nikko Huelgas, Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee COO Ramon Suzara, and Commissioner and Dr. Celia Kiram of the Philippine Sports Commission. The turnover was witnessed by Malaysia’s Minister of Sports Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
With the SEA Games flame now in the Philippine delegation’s hands, it will be returned to the country where it will be carried in a nationwide relay, just like with the Olympic Games. The torch run is expected to drop in at several major Philippine cities like Davao, Cebu and Clark, which is one of the sporting event venues. The SEA Games torch will also have courtesy stopovers at the House of Representative and Malacañang Palace. The torch with flame is finally expected to arrive at the Philippine Arena during the SEA Games Opening Ceremony on evening at November 30.
In addition to the entrusting of the flame, there was also a mascot duty handover wherein the 2018 SEA Games of Malaysia mascot Rimau met with his 2019 SEA Games counterpart Pami. Everything is coming together for the big event.
Image courtesy of Sports Inquirer