6000 Cebuanos join Cebu leg of 2019 SEA Games Torch Run
CEBU CITY, Philippines — About 6,000 Cebuanos registered for the second leg of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Torch Run to show their support for the Filipino athletes who will be competing in the biennial meet.
Cebuanos echoed Philippine’s battle cry of “We Win as One” as they ran behind SEA Games athletes, who were the torchbearers for the event, which ensures that the flame of the SEA Games continues to burn as it passed by Cebu, Saturday.
The runners’ biggest delegation came from Cebu Doctors University. It was led by Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, president and chairman of the board of the Cebu Doctors Group of Hospitals. They ran behind the SEA Games-bound torchbearers, who joined Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Secretary Michael Dino, former Gilas Pilipinas and PBA star and now Cebu City councilor Dondon Hontiveros, and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) Chief Operations Officer Ramon “Tats” Suzara at the front of the line.
The torchbearers included SEA Games-bound and Cebu’s very own Andrew Kim Remolino, who will be competing in the triathlon; Tomas Romualdez, downhill skater; Sarah Pangilinan and OJ Delos Santos, who are karatekas.
Delos Santos, however, is not competing in this year’s SEA Games as he failed to qualify. He, however, has competed in the Kuala Lumpur edition of the SEA Games and brought home a medal.
The drizzle did not stop the Cebuanos from completing the symbolic 5-kilometer run at South Coastal Road, which was ushered in by a short program at past 4 p.m. The torch run was completed at past 6 p.m.
PSC Commissioner and Deputy Chef de Mission Ramon Fernandez also called for heartfelt support and prayers for the Filipino athletes who will be seeing action in the SEA Games, which will be hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 10.
The Philippines will have the biggest delegation at 1,868 broken down to 1,115 athletes and 753 coaches.
Aside from the Philippines, 10 other Southeast Asian countries are competing in 530 events that comprises 56 sports.
Other countries competing are Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and Timor-Leste.
“There’s no more PSC, POC, Phisgoc. We are now one, we are Team Philippines. The games and the national athletes may be far from us, but they need our heartfelt support and prayers),” said Fernandez.
Mayor Labella also stressed the importance of unity in supporting Team Philippines, “no man is an island and that indeed, we need each other to achieve greater heights. If you run alone, you can run fast. But if you run with others, you will go far. In growth and development, we win as one.”
Suzara, for his part, added that the success of the Team Philippines would rely on a collective effort.
Senator Bong Go, who failed to attend the event due to other important matters, also sent his message which was relayed by Dino.
The Philippines received the Southeast Asian Games flame from 2017 host, Malaysia, in a handover ceremony at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur last month.
From Malaysia, the golden lantern, carrying the SEA Games flame was brought to the Philippines last October 3.
The torch relay series kicked off in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, early this month.
From Cebu, it will be brought to Manila. It will then be brought first to Tagaytay then back to Manila at the House of Representatives, the Senate and probably at the Malacañan Palace as well.
The torch will then be brought to Clark in Pampanga Province then to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan Province where the opening ceremonies of SEA Games will be held.
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