The Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) Athletes’ Village in New Clark City has been winning the hearts of athletes who have praised the world-renowned Filipino hospitality that welcomed them to Capas, Tarlac.
Reports of disorganization in the days before the official opening of the SEA Games have now been overrun with news of praises for the country’s sports facilities.
Many of the guest delegates have expressed how impressed they are with the brand new world-class sporting facilities offered by the Philippines as the 30th SEA Games host nation.
The New Clark City Sports Complex, including the Athletes’ Village, has provided the Philippines’ best foot forward in welcoming the visiting athletes.
The guest athletes also conveyed their satisfaction with their new spacious accommodations at the Athletes’ Village.
The Athletes’ Village has a total of 525 units of which 95 are intended for Persons with disabilities (PWD).
Amenities include a gym, swimming pool, basketball court, conference rooms on each floor, kitchen and dining areas that can feed over a thousand at any one time, athletes’ lounge, and deck gardens.
And of course, how else can Filipinos best show hospitality but through “FOOD”.
A team of expert Filipino chefs, led by 2019 SEA Games Executive Chef Bruce Lim and Kapampangan Chef Sau Del Rosario with a food safety team, are ensuring only fresh food that meets the dietary needs of the athletes are served.
To do exactly that, the Philippines has provided the Athletes’ Village home of the SEA Games athletes, a fully equipped kitchen run by a horde of chefs, dieticians, and workers. The Athletes’ Village kitchen offers a wide range of athlete-appropriate, healthy and delectable, Halal-certified and Non-halal menu – serving up to six meals a day.
“In New Clark City we pretty much made a kitchen and a hotel from the ground up. This is a totally different monster because here, athletes can’t leave the [sports] complex. So we tried to make sure that they can eat 24-hours a day, they have enough food and variety throughout. We wanted to make sure that they’re comfortable with what they have; with the amenities, we have here in the Athletes’ Village and with whatever they have to eat,” Chef Lim told media.
Female Silat athlete Anisha Abdullah of Brunei recounted to Malay Online her positive experience in the Philippines. The 23-year-old asserted that halal food was provided to all Muslim athletes staying at the village.
“Although I stayed in Subic because the silat events are held there, yet I am impressed by the facilities available at the Athletes’ Village here which could be said to be almost on par with the ones available at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, and even more important was the fact that it was easy for me to get halal food,” said the athlete from Brunei.
Brunei male Silat athlete Muhd Zulfadhli Ali also praised the gym facilities provided to them. He said, “From my point of view, I am very satisfied with the facilities available, besides the halal food which was provided for the Muslim athletes.”
In an article on the New Strait Times, Datuk Mumtaz Jaafar, the deputy president of the Malaysian Athletics Federation, said the food being served in the Athletes’ Village is “simply too good to resist.”
“We arrived three days before athletics start and, after looking at the mess hall, I’m worried that some of my athletes might over-indulge and put on extra weight,” the Malaysian said.
Mumtaz added that the food is even better than those served at some hotels.
Aside from its wide-ranging menu, the kitchen is also open 23 hours every day with athletes being served breakfast starting from 5 a.m., while the last call for supper is at 4 a.m. the next day. There are also four more scheduled “feeding times” in-between.
“With the athletics venue across the road from the Village, I’m afraid they might have too much time in their hands and the mess hall might become the focal point,” Mumtaz said.
The Athletes’ Village is inside the New Clark City Sports Complex with facilities that impressed the Olympic Council of Asia vice president enough to urge the Philippines to bid for the hosting of the Asian Games in 2030.
SEND congratulations to the Philippine team in charge of the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City!
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