By Genalyn Kabiling
After a world-class opening ceremony of the biennial sports event, Malacañang congratulated Filipino athletes for the early medal haul Sunday in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Amid reports the country was leading the games’ medal tally, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the local athletes are giving honor and inspiration to the Filipino nation.
“We have to congratulate our Filipino athletes for that. Talagang nakaka-inspire sila [They are inspiring],” Panelo said in a radio interview.
“Maganda ang preparation nila [They had good preparation]. There is no substitute for preparation in any competition,” he added.
As of press time, Team Philippines has clinched 10 gold medals coming from triathlon, arnis, wushu, and dancesport.
The Palace, meantime, praised the “excellent” opening ceremony of the SEA Games last Saturday, lauding the artists for the “world-class” performances.
“It was excellent opening of the SEA Games. The performance was superb and world class,” Panelo said in Filipino.
He said there was “excitement” and “happiness” among Filipinos during the parade of the local athletes at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Even President Duterte was in high spirits as he was seen dancing to the Filipino classic “Manila” while watching the athletes during the ceremony.
“The President was pleased with the performance. Our people were very happy. The crowd even sang along ‘Manila,'” Panelo said. “We have to congratulate the organizers for the superb opening of the SEA games,” he added.
The SEA Games will run until December 11.