Filipino Athletes Shine in the 31st SEA Games
The 31st SEA Games is the first in-person sports competition in the region after the COVID-19 pandemic
struck. How did our delegates perform after the long hiatus in such events?
By Julia Garcia
Filipinos have proven themselves to be more than competitive in the athletic field. From Manny Pacquiao to Hidilyn Diaz, we can make big names in almost every sport there is. Resilience and determination are common among Filipino athletes. Resilience not just in the face of difficulty and discipline required in training, but also because of the personal reasons that hinder them from focusing on strengthening their skills. This is why rags to golden medal stories are also not unfamiliar. What more if faced with the pandemic that isolated them from their usual activities as athletes.
Due to the relaxed protocols worldwide, the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games finally took place on May 12 to 23, 2022, six months after its supposed date of opening in December 2021. Despite the pandemicinduced challenges, host country Vietnam still managed to present an eye-pleasing opening ceremony with group dance performances backed by magical lighting and made extra special by the computer generated imagery of elements floating on the screen. Even the torch lighting was presented through this modern way.
The 31st SEA Games had the theme “Let’s Shine.” At first glance, the logo looks like a hand. The hand serves as a welcoming symbol, with Vietnam being the host country. It also shows Vietnam as a friendly and
peaceful country. The hand also stands for humanity and chivalry while the rough and soft edges of the “fingers” convey the flexibility of sports.
Aside from the aforementioned details, the logo is also designed to look like a flying bird. The bird represents the strong will and extraordinary efforts of the athletes. The logo is intentionally shaped
like a V which stands for Vietnam and victory.
Finishing 4th in the overall ranking among 11 participating nations, the Filipino athletes showed that
they are ready to be back in the game after the long hiatus the pandemic forced them into.
One of the gold medalists is Hidilyn Diaz, the first Filipino to bring home an Olympic gold medal. This is
her first competition following her monumental win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ernest John Obiena, the world’s number 6 pole vaulter, also brought home a gold medal after setting
a new SEA Games record of 5.46 meters. Meanwhile, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo bagged five gold ......