SEA Games Fails, Time To Rise Above Fantardism

The rash of SEA Games fails could have been addressed better. Thing is, I thought the cauldron was the last issue against the SEA Games but I was surprised that more came to light and still more will come.

For some reason, I keep hearing Vice Ganda’s voice whenever I re-read Phisgoc chair and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayeteno’s statement regarding the bashing he is receiving from SEA Games fails.

“This is our hosting. Hosting ng buong sambayanan ito. Hosting ng Pilipinas ito. Hindi ito hosting ng Duterte, ng [Bases Conversion and Development Authority]. Hindi ito hosting ng [Philippine Olympic Committee], hindi ito hosting ng [Philippine Sports Commission], hindi ito hosting ni Cayetano.


“So mag tulong-tulong tayo because when you bash the organizing committee, if it is to get us to act correctly or to address inefficiency, it’s most welcome pero if you bash us for the sake of bashing us or because you don’t want the president or other people to get the credit, ang bina-bash mo sarili mong bansa.”


But, really, how can House Speaker Cayetano discern the motives behind each and every Facebook post or Twitter status about apparent SEA Games fails?

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That’s really tantamount to telling people to just shut their mouths at a time when emotions are high over what could be perceived as failures in SEA Games preparations.

Like I tell jokingly my friends who are still married, “When your wife is visibly upset and shouting, always tell her to calm down and suggest she’s overreacting. That always calms women down.”

Unfortunately, one dingbat didn’t get the joke and got mad at me, then blocked me on Facebook. (Well, that is certainly one way to shit test people to see if they belong in your circle.)

At this point, exhorting the nation not to “quarrel” in front of the guests would appear as overly trite as any exhortation of patriotism.

I mean, come on!

The country had several YEARS (starting from the last SEA Games) to prepare for hosting it and given that P7 to P11 BILLION is going to be spent showcasing not only our country’s athletes but also our country, it is NATURAL for people to expect that the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines is going to be a grand SMASH.

Especially considering that some people recall that previous hostings of the SEA Games in the Philippines were done without a hitch. One former TV reporter on my friends list says:

“Looking back at the last two times we hosted the SEAG— 2005 and 1991. In 2005, everything was well organized. Love him or hate him, then First Gentleman Mike Arroyo did a good job when he spearheaded everything. While he and PGMA were hounded with many issues, there were no corruption issues then insofar as the games were concerned. Everything was finished on time. And the Philippines topped the medal tally. May resulta, hindi puro dada lang. Truth be told, he received very little credit for being a good manager. In 1991, everything was organized, too. And I’m sure resources were more scarce back then given how the economy was. And yet, it was a good event.”

This is perhaps why I almost gagged when I read  one Facebook post from Hercules Reyes ( which looks like an alternick) regarding the Cambodian athletes shown in various media sleeping on the floor of a hotel. The post says:

Media brainwashing lang ang nangyayaring bad publicity about SEA Games, and a lot of us foolishly fall for it.

I’m talking specifically about sa naging experience ng mga players (the hotel, food, and bus fiasco). Isipin nyo, lahat naman ng events, lalo na as big as this, nagkakaroon ng aberya. Wala namang 100% smooth talaga eh.

But then, the way the media reported it was obviously malicious. “Nakahiga sa sahig,” may nabasa pa nga ako na “napilitan matulog sa sahig” as if they were left there on purpose.

Walang context. Negative.

Ang totoo ay kaya ganun kasi maaga kaysa sa planado ang check in nila at fully booked pa ang hotel. So sa function room sila nilagay. PERO HINDI ITO SINABI NG MEDIA.

In the first place, what’s so newsworthy about that? Fully booked hotel, nagstay muna sa isang place. O, ano? Yes that sucks but shit happens.

Pati “not enough Thai food,” nireport pa. Bat mo irereport pa ang mga ganung kaliit na problema?

Whenever the Olympics are held in a certain country, may naririnig ba tayong balita ng kapalpakan? Wala.


Is it because everything went smoothly 100%. No. Because small irrelevant things are not the focus of the news foe the event.

And also, why would you religiously cover stuff that would put your government to shame, kung hindi naman big deal din? Unless… It’s intentional bad publicity.


Para talagang pagmukaing masama at palpak nanaman ang mga organizers and ulitmately, the President.


Now, I’m not DDS nor Dilawan or anything. I actually don’t give two shits about politics. But I know a malicious news spin when I see one. And this is a malicious spin.

Media brainwashing? Yellow journalism? Oh well, that ranks right up next to stories about the Illuminati and aliens. Jeez!

It’s not media brainwashing, I can assure you that. What is galling though is that whoever thought of this angle as a defense is preying on the ignorance of most people about how the news cycle works.

While Hercules status update dismisses the SEA Games fail as a spin, IT IS ITSELF A SPIN and while we can believe that he isn’t a DDS, he certainly ISN’T A JOURNALIST EITHER.

What is more likely is that the one coordinating the billeting of the athletes just let this one slip through and then failed to get the hotel’s management to remedy the situation or AT THE VERY LEAST HIDE THE ATHLETES FROM THE PRESS.

Then this was followed up by another flub, this time by the communications team that is supposed to handle such events. These guys dropped the ball by failing to immediately get hold of editors and producers in news outlets to tell them what happened as soon as the story broke OR ATLEAST BEFORE THE AIRING OF THE FIRST EVENING NEWS.

And it’s EXCUSE MAKING to blame the media.

What is even more disgusting is that Hercules asks people to JUST ACCEPT THAT SHIT HAPPENS.

So far, the rest of the defense against the brickbats thrown at the SEA Games by Cayetano and his social media team seems weak and even childish.

For instance, I’ve seen people accusing whoever they deem “dilawan” as possessing “crab mentality” or saying that other SEA Games had similar or worse hitches.

One example of a previous SEA Games fail that people keep bringing up is the one in Malaysia where there was a bout of food poisoning. I even saw someone remark that the Malaysian press didn’t come out with a news story about it.

So, are we supposed to accept that not only does SHIT HAPPEN but also that we shouldn’t aspire to do better than the previous SEA Games organizers?

if so, then we truly aren’t worthy as hosts of the SEA Games because THIS GOES AGAINST THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION… The spirit of ASPIRING TO BE BETTER.

Guys, the rash of SEA Games fails is a call to rise above being just fans or defenders or warriors of whatever administration is in power.

3 Replies to “SEA Games Fails, Time To Rise Above Fantardism”

  1. The dude, Cayetano simply did not have the : planning, implementation and management abilities to run the SEA Games. Or, he may have been overwhelmed to make money for his pocket, and for his own self interests.

    If at least, he had a good plan, these “many shits”, would not had happened. I still don’t trust politicians in managing and organizing such events like this SEA Games. Most of our politicians are too corrupt and too incompetent. “Bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan ay huwag magagalit”…

    in these times of internet and social media; politicians are ” fair game’, for social media people. There is nothing your politician’s public relation people can do…it seems that social media people are getting wiser and wiser every year.

    So, next time we host such event…we must chose the right person, who have experience , good working plans, and expertise to implement his/her plans, to make such event successful.

    We don’t have to play Blame Game now…shit really happens…but plans must be there, to remedy , if such shit happens !

  2. “What is even more disgusting is that Hercules asks people to JUST ACCEPT THAT SHIT HAPPENS.”

    I read that post more than twice… Is it me or that post didn’t really say “just accept that shit happens.” It’s more like “it’s such a small thing, why are you using it to paint the whole event as a failure?”

    One team had to stay in a function room as they wait for the hotel to accommodate them at the industry standard check-in time. Yea that sucks! But that’s one incident compared to the dozens of groups the organizers had to accommodate yet had no problems. That’s what they meant when they say “wrinkles are bound to happen.”

    And as far as I can see, the handful of concerns on food, transportation, accommodations were rectified immediately. And yet there are still mudslingings everywhere as if no one did anything to rectify the situation. As if the organizers just rolled their eyes and moved on. Mistakes were made. But improvements were made as well.

    But accusations are still being thrown around like nothing is being rectified. Yikes! It’s almost as if those “criticisms” came from a place of hate instead of people just genuinely wanting things to improve.

  3. A foreigner’s here. First time I’ve read the comment of Mr. Hercules Reyes you posted. Guarantee that it’s not the PH media brainwash. It was published in other countries medias as well. And it’s not just the picture of their athletes had to sleep on the floor. There are more — your press conference, athlete villages/accommodations/facilities, ect.

    Of cause nothing could not go 100 percent smoothly. There always problem. HOW do you respond/prepare/fix the problems is another story. Take what he said as a sample: if the Cambodian athletes really checked in earlier than they planned, can’t you just move them to other places/hotel/room/lobbies etc. they can rest for a while? I don’t get it why he can’t figure it out because it’s quite simple solution. His comment shows many Filipino’s mindset I observed for decades :Just make it done. They don’t think about how to make it better. Not just in sport, but all.

    And I don’t have to tell the reaction of their people in other countries. Think you can guess it by yourselves. Some even asked if the PH is not ready to be a host, why offer themselves?

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