CAPAS, Tarlac -- After 14 years, the Philippine team was the overall champion in the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games 2019.
Filipino athletes bagged a total of 387 medals, with 149 golds, 117 silvers, and 121 bronze medals.
The last time the country ruled the SEA Games was when it hosted the biennial games in 2005.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman and Philippine SEA Games Chef De Mission William "Butch" Ramirez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea accepted the overall championship recognition for Team Philippines during the closing ceremonies of the biennial games at the New Clark City on Wednesday night, December 11.
Filipino surfer Roel Casugay also received a Fair Play recognition for displaying extraordinary concern to a fellow in the midst of competition.
Casugay saved his Indonesian competitor from drowning who got swept away by waves in the midst of the competition.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo also thanked Casugay for his action.
During the closing ceremonies, the Philippine team also passed on the SEA Games flag to Vietnam sports executives as they will be the host of the next games in 2021.
Thousands of spectators witnessed the closing rites which was highlighted by the switching off of the cauldron.
Foreign and local guests, including athletes and volunteers, were treated to a night of spectacle, including a drone show, grand fireworks display, and mini concerts by international stars Arnel Pineda and the Black Eyed Peas.
Pineda and Black Eyed Peas member Apl.de.ap are both Filipinos.