WE SCORED big in sports not-too-familiar to our foes and that was expected.
Had that not happened, lost would be our built-in advantage as host: As a rule, hosts have control of games to be played in every Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
We scored big in making our visitors’ stay here as comfortable and as memorable as ever.
Had we not done that, our world-class hospitality trait could have easily gone down the drain.
We scored big in providing abundant food to all, foes and homegrown athletes alike.
Had we failed to do that, shattered forever might result in our growing reputation as globally recognized chefs.
We scored big from our talents who were fresh from their spectacular victories overseas.
Had world champions Carlos Yulo of gymnastics, CJ Obiena in pole vault, boxer Nesthy Petecio and, yes, 2016 Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz failed to deliver the golds—goods, if you will—we could have ended up the laughing stock of the Games.
But the biggest win of all did not even merit a gold medal to be hung on the neck of the one who authored it.
Silently, he did his thing, far from the glare of the spotlight.
No medal of any color to honor him.
And yet, his feat was worth more than a gold medal, actually.
His performance was a work of art equal to that of a Picasso, if not a Van Gogh.
No price tag can be bigger than the act itself.
I refer to none other than Alan Peter Cayetano.
The House Speaker had taken the monumental challenge of being the chairman of the Phisgoc (Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee).
Everybody, save for his mother, thought he was crazy when he took the job.
How could someone like Cayetano, who had no experience whatsoever in running even an inter-barangay luksong-tinik tournament, succeed in orchestrating an event as massive as the 11-nation SEA Games?
But he didn’t only succeed magnificently. He outdid himself.
Capping his victory with a heart-rending speech, he unleashed his humility-driven character, thus: “To my detractors and the non-believers, itaga ninyo ito sa bato: Peace be with you!”