AN opening ceremony like no other brought pride and joy to Filipinos worldwide at the start of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The Philippines threw quite a party to welcome the 10 other participating countries to a spectacle that featured original songs both contemporary and traditional, as well as cultural Filipino dances, and Pinoy sports icons across generations.
At the end of the fast-paced and entertaining two-hour ceremony, Filipino netizens took to social to express their appreciation to organizers and performers alike.
“One thing is abundantly clear: The Philippines is not lacking in artistic and athletic talent. We just need the right leadership that can bring out the best in our country FOR our country,” said user @gideonlasco on a tweet.
Some netizens took a trip down memory lane after seeing some of the well-known Filipino sports legends like Efren “Bata” Reyes, who carried the SEA Games Federation flag on stage.
Twitter user @chireen818 shared: “Ya'll don't know how much I screamed when Sir Efren "Bata" Reyes was shown on tv, still with that very familiar humble smile of his. It was my dream to see him play live, even once. This legend will forever have my respect.”
Meanwhile, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, the torchbearer for the SEA Games 2019, became the talk of the town after appearance on screen together with Nesthy Petecio as they set the cauldron aglow at the New Clark City.
“The amount of pride and honor that we felt when Manny showed up with a caption of BOXING LEGEND,” tweeted user @missshekinah610.
Pinoys living here or afar were one in heaping praise on the ceremony.
“Yung ganitong kaganapan ang talagang nakakapanghinayang na hindi mo masaksihan ng liv (buhay OFW). At yung ganitong panahon at pagkakataon na nagkakaisa tayo, napakasarap maging Pilipino,” said user @kharisjoy_101
Twitter user @bhe_lhay also weighed in saying, “I watched the live feed...hays grabeh guys, kakapanindig balahibo, ung cheers ng crowd sa TeamPhil athletes at ung mga performances ng mga best artist..i was so happy and proud as Filipino myself and as an OFW.”
Moreover, former Systema volleyball coach and vocal mentor Sammy Gaddi, who's currently in South America, did not let his distance hold him back from supporting his countrymen.
He posted on Facebook: "Oh my God, I’m in tears! ?????????? #WeWinAsOne 'Hinahanap hanap kita, Manila. Ang ingay mong kay sarap sa tenga!' Watching the grand South East Asian Games opening only from twitter feeds right now!"