There will be two sets of flagbearers during the opening ceremonies of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Six athletes minus gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxer Nesthy Petecio will do the flag-bearing duties for the Philippine delegation.
Then, six sports greats led by Lydia de Vega-Mercado will carry the SEA Games Federation flag.
After that, boxing great Manny Pacquiao and Petecio will take care of the torch-bearing activities when the Games are officially declared open at the Philippine Arena on Saturday.
The Team Philippines flagbearers include weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, jiujitsu fighter Meggie Ochoa, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxer Felix Eumir and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe.
Mercado, who delivered honors for the country as sprinter in the instances that she represented the country in the SEA Games, will be joined by bowlers Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo, long jumper Elma Muros and boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said a lot of changes on the athletes who will do flag-bearing duties.
This is to ensure that most of them can just focus on their training.
“We will just spare some of them because they have competitions that they will get into,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino added that most of participants started arriving in the country yesterday.
Around 4,000 athletes, coaches, and officials from 10 other participating countries are already in the country for the Games, according to Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee president and CEO Ramon “Tats” Suzara.
And over a thousand are expected to show up at the opening rites.
The opening ceremonies will have some of the country’s most talented performers.
Among those performing are the famous Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, to singers like Lani Misalucha, Aicelle Santos, KZ Tandingan and Apl.de.ap.
Veteran playwright Floy Quintos is listed as the creative director and worked with National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.
Production is being handled by US-based company Fivecurrents, with audio and video support from Video Sonic and Stage Craft International.
Organizers said a surprise will be held during the rites.
Lani Misalucha will lead the singing of the Philippine National Anthem, and it will be followed a four-part production that involves song and dance numbers.
The production number is set against backdrops inspired by Philippine textiles.