SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’ | Inquirer Lifestyle
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SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’

SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’

People generally ignored the brickbats, because it was an undeniable triumph

Maybe it was meant to be a “perya,” as a poor lone soul sour-graped—a jubilant, glorious carnival featuring the best parts of being Filipino.

As the ceremony’s creative director Floy Quintos posted on his Facebook page on Nov. 29, “There will be no special effects. no fabulous, hitherto unseen technological stage wizardry. Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy. The very things we return to. The very things that enable us to survive.”

SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’
The Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group dazzle with their dance performances.
SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’
Spectacular choreography featuring dancers holding lighted “capiz parol” —PHOTOS BY LYN RILLON

And what joy it was on Nov. 30, in the mammoth Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The show started at 7 p.m. and lasted an hour and 35 minutes. To the music of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Kyrie” from “Misa,” the show began with a dance production by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group and dance troupes from different schools, featuring dances from the Kalinga, the Maranao, the Bagobo and more.

Fave moments:

  • La Jota Manileña forming a human corridor for the delegates from 11 countries to walk through, a true party onstage
  • The famed “Manila” by Hotdog as riotous accompaniment to the Philippine delegation’s much applauded entrance
  • Robert Seña’s soaring version of “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika”
  • Eight legendary Filipino athletes—Lydia de Vega, Akiko Thomson-Guevara, Eric Buhain, Alvin Patrimonio, Bong Coo, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Onyok Velasco and Paeng Nepomuceno —carrying the Philippine flag to the stage
  • The rousing hip-hop medley, complete with dancers, by Iñigo Pascual, KZ Tandingan and Elmo Magalona, who did justice to his father Francis’ song “Man from Manila”
  • That sensational drone shot of dancers holding capiz parols and scattering in formation
  • All that Filipino lung power showcased in the song “We Win As One”

Well, that’s actually almost the whole show (except for the speeches). Maybe the torch-lighting by boxers Manny Pacquiao and Nesthy Petecio was pretaped, but it still gave us goosebumps. Yup, all in all, a wonderful “perya.”—ALYA B. HONASAN