KUALA LUMPUR -- THE Philippines formally received the South East Asian (SEA) Games torch from 2017 host Malaysia in a handover ceremony that will kick off the country's hosting preparations into high gear.
Philippine Olympic Committee board member Cynthia Carrion accepted the torch from Malaysia Olympic Committee president Norza Zakaria in a ceremonial lighting of the lantern set at the world-renowned Bukit Jalil National Stadium in the Malaysian capital Thursday, October 3.
Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara and Philippine Sports Commissioner Celia Kiram graced the event, which signals the countdown to the opening of the 11-nation meet on November 30 at the Philippine Arena in Marilao, Bulacan.
The Phisgoc ceremonies and cultural events department is organizing the ceremony as part of a series of events highlighting the symbolism of the SEA Games torch and flame.
"The flame handover is an important symbolic ceremony showing the turnover of responsibilities from past host to present," said Phisgoc ceremonies director Mike Aguilar.
Malaysian hosting mascot Rimau met Pami, the official mascot of the 30th SEA Games during the ceremony.
Filipino boxer Ian Clark Bautista and taekwondo jin Pauline Lopez also joined the Philippine delagation that arrived from Manila, including Capas, Tarlac Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan.
New Clark City, the hub of SEA Games, is located in Capas, Tarlac.
From Kuala Lumpur, the lantern will be brought to the Philippines, kicking off the torch run activities to be held in various parts of the country, namely in Davao City, Cebu City and Clark. It will also be brought to the Senate, House of Representatives, and Malacanang.
The official torch for the 30th SEA Games portray the national symbols of the Philippines.
The torch, symbolizing unity and celebrating a common message of sportsmanship, athletic superiority and artistic achievements, was designed by the country's foremost metal sculptor, Daniel dela Cruz.
His torch design for the 30TH SEA Games is inspired by and is a stylized interpretation of our Philippine national flower -- the sampaguita -- symbolizing purity, simplicity, humility and strength.
Eleven nations, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam, will see action on November 30 to December 11 in the 56 sports spread out over four main venues in Clark, Subic, Manila and Tagaytay.
The biennial meet is supported by Platinum sponsors -- Ajinomoto, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, MG Cars, Philippine Airlines, Skyworth and CooCaa.
Gold Sponsors are MasterCard, Milo, Pocari Sweat, NLEX, PInco and Rzaer.
Preferred sponsors are Asics, SM Lifestyle Inc. and BMW. Prestige sponsors are Molten and Mikasa. Banking Partners are Chinabank and PNB. Media Partners are Bombo Radyo, Star FM and the Inquirer Group, CNN, United Neon and DOOH. Host Broadcaster is NEP. Official Broadcast Stations are Sports and Action, TV 5, Cignal, ESPN and PTV 4. (PR)