The Pinoy bayanihan spirit is lifting the Philippines with private groups, companies, and individuals volunteering and stepping up to showcase Filipino hospitality as the country hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
Amidst social media posts by Pinoy netizens offering to house, feed, transport, and accompany the international athletes participating in the biennial meet, some key groups have actually been pitching in to serve the needs of athlete-guests.
The Yanson family led by Leo Rey Yanson, owner of the country’s Ceres-Negros Football Club, has deployed Ceres Transport and Vallacar Transit buses to transport the 17 football teams playing at the SEA Games.
Southridge School in Alabang, through Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, has offered its artificial pitch as one of the practice venues for the tournaments.
The Tourism Congress of the Philippines and the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Inc. (HSMA), in coordination with the Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT), has already stepped in to help arrivals and hotel bookings.
HSMA President Christine U. Ibarreta told Business Mirror that their initiative, to check on their members to ensure athlete-guests were given the best service, was spurred by initial reports. “We work so hard in inviting tourists to come here….So I wanted to get to the bottom of these,” said Ibarreta.
Ibarreta added that the hotels “will extend whatever courtesies we can without breaking the bank. Like we can allow late checkouts, provide entertainment, etc.; just to emphasize the fun [here in the Philippines]. Just be extra nice to them, and provide the Mabuhay service.”
Hoteliers in Clark, Angeles City, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Subic, Zambales have rallied behind the Department of Tourism to extend the best in Filipino hospitality to all athletes and officials participating in the SEA Games.
The DoT has called on the public to “unite and live up to the Filipino brand of service and fun that we are known for. Let us rise to the occasion and put our best foot forward”. The award-winning tourism agency had immediately stepped up put plans in place even as it gathered tourism volunteers to help with the hosting of the SEA Games guests.
The SEA Games Opening Ceremonies is being staged today, November 30, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Thousands of champion athletes are in the country to vie for medal honors in 56 sports covering 530 events that will be held simultaneously until December 11 at the SEA Games sports hubs in Manila, Southern Luzon and La Union, Subic, and at the New Clark City in Tarlac.
SEND cheers in the comments below to the people of the Philippines for their bayanihan spirit and volunteering to help step up the hosting of the 30th SEA Games!
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