MANILA -- The final leg of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Torch Run will be held at the Bayanihan Park inside the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on November 23.
The torch, which symbolizes unity and celebrates a common message of sportsmanship, athletic superiority and artistic achievements, was designed by the country's foremost metal sculptor Daniel dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz's design was inspired by the national flower sampaguita which symbolizes purity, simplicity, humility and strength.
Before going to Clark, the SEA Games torch also visited SM Lanang in Davao City on October 30 and the Cebu South Coastal Road in Cebu City last November 16.
Among those who took part in the torch run in Cebu City were Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) president Tsutomu Nara and senior vice president Takeshi Onikubo, who joined their employees in showing support to the Filipino athletes who will compete in the biennial meet from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year.
Ajinomoto is one of the first Platinum sponsors of what is touted as the biggest SEA Games featuring 56 sports.
In line with the sponsorship, the company seeks to help Filipinos achieve better quality of life through proper nutrition and maintaining active lifestyle.
Malaysia, which hosted the 2017 edition, formally handed over the SEA Games flame to the Philippines last October 3 in a ceremony held at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
Olympic Council of Malaysia president Norza Zakaria presented the flame in a ceremonial lighting of the lantern to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), which was represented by board member Cynthia Carrion, who is also chairperson of the POC women in sports committee.
Also in attendance were triathlete POC Athletes Commission head Nikko Huelgas, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Dr. Celia Kiram, and Malaysian Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
“As we receive the flame from Malaysia, we also receive the responsibilities that come with hosting the flame in our country,” said Kiram, who will serve as one of the deputy chef de missions of Team Philippines.
“Malaysia hosted one of the best SEAG editions, and we will do our best and try to be at par with them in hosting these Games," she added.
Meanwhile, Suzara said: “This flame symbolizes the spirit of the SEA Games and this handover signifies an exchange of ideas, goodwill and genuine friendship.”
Aside from Ajinomoto, the other Platinum sponsors of the 30th SEA Games are Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, MG Cars, Philippine Airlines, Skyworth and CooCaa.
Also lending support are Gold sponsors MasterCard, Milo, Pocari Sweat, NLEX, PInco and Razer; Preferred sponsors Asics, SM Lifestyle Inc. and BMW; Prestige sponsors Molten and Mikasa; Banking Partners Chinabank and PNB; media partners Bombo Radyo, Star FM and the Inquirer Group, CNN, United Neon and DOOH; host broadcaster NEP; and official broadcaster Sports and Action, TV 5, Cignal, ESPN and PTV 4. (PNA)