WHEN representatives from the Southeast Asian countries march at the Philippine Arena for the traditional parade of athletes, they'll be accompanied by world-class stunners.
Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach and fellow beauty title-holders Megan Young, Lara Quigaman, and more will serve as muses of the participating nations.
Here's the complete list:
Philippines: Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015)
Brunei Darussalam: Karen Gallman (Miss Intercontinental 2018)
Cambodia: Sophia Senoron (Miss Multinational 2013)
Indonesia: Megan Young (Miss World 2013)
Laos: Cynthia Thomalia (Miss Eco International 2018)
Malaysia: Lara Quigaman (Miss International 2006)
Myanmar: Karen Ibasco (Miss Earth 2017)
Singapore: Jamie Herrel (Miss Earth 2014)
Thailand: Angelia Ong (Miss Earth 2015)
East TImor: Jannie Alipoon (Miss Tourism 2017)
Vietnam: Shafira Akeel (Miss Asia Pacific International 2018)
Noted fashion designer Eric Pineda showed off his designs for the gowns of Wurtzbach and Young:
The Athletes' Parade will be the centerpiece of the SEA Games' opening ceremony, which will be held on November 30 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Organizers refused to divulge any more details about the ceremony or plans on the lighting of the controversial P56-million cauldron, which will be lit at the New Clark City sports complex in Capas, Tarlac, located more than 70 kilometers away.
They did lay out a detailed preview of everything else that will go down at the event.
"[The SEA Games ceremony] really takes the best of us, that we're more alike than we are different," said Libby Hyland, creative director of FiveCurrents, a US-based content and events team which last handled the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. The company is among the major organizers of the opening ceremony.
She continued: "It's one event where different people come together in peace and love."
Acclaimed playwright and director Floy Quintos, who is also a creative director for the SEA Games opening ceremony, wants the November 30 event to be a showcase of the different aspects of Philippine indigenous and pop culture.
"The production also aims for inclusivity," he explained. "That's very important. We wanted as much as possible to present the the lumad of Mindanao, the animist peoples of the Cordillera, our Islamic brothers and sisters, as well as our Catholic lowland traditions."
Hundreds of students from different schools and colleges in Metro Manila will be performing in the first segment, which will highlight different ethnic traditions.
The other segments will go for a more pop route. Apl De Ap wil be performing "Bebot" as the night's centerpiece performance. KZ Tandingan, Elmo Magalona, Iñigo Pascual (fresh from his Staples Center halftime performance), Aicelle Santos, and Christian Bautista also have song numbers lined up.
Tickets are on sale now for the SEA Games Opening Ceremony. Organizers said that the Arena's gates will open at 3:30, before a lockdown at 5pm for the arrival of President Duterte. The program is expected to begin at 7pm. Viewers at home can watch the ceremonies on ABS-CBN or on the livestream at the 2019 SEA Games Facebook page.