Filipino sports heroes led by Olympic medalists Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. and Pol Serrantes of boxing will motivate Filipino athletes bound for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the Team Philippines Send-off Ng Bayan today at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
Bowling Hall of Famers Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo will likewise provide the inspiration for the national squad to perform at their best during the Games on Nov. 30-Dec. 11 as well as Asia’s first chess grandmaster Eugene Torre.
Track and field icons Lydia De Vega-Mercado and Elma Muros-Posadas will also share their stories of triumph to the 1,115 Filipino athletes from 56 sports, all of them aiming to collectively reclaim the SEAG overall title for the country.
“Our athletes are the heart and soul of the country’s campaign in the Olympics,” said Team Philippines chef de mission and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William I. Ramirez.
Besides Ramirez, Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino and House Speaker and Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano will rally the athletes, including Filipino paralympic bets, to accomplish the feat.
“With the all-out support of the government, I’m positive that our athletes will deliver,” said Ramirez, who also led Team Philippines as CDM to its first-ever overall title during the 2005 Manila SEAG.
Bamboo, known as the Prince of Philippine Rock, will be the main act during the entertainment segment of the send-off ceremony where Pilipinas, the theme song of Team Philippines will also be unveiled.