Wranglings inside and outside the sports community, plus naysayers and critics, didn’t help either. But all these impediments were set aside, starting with the task mandated to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) to ensure that “We Win as One.”
Taking the bull by the horn, so to speak, was Alan, who was appointed as PHISGOC Chair. His short yet significant stint paved the way for the Golden Age of Sports Development in the country, as the events that transpired during the 30th SEA Games not only proved that we can do the work, but that we can also overcome all the challenges. With this successful hosting, this has now become the benchmark for future sporting events in the region.
It all started when Alan encouraged the PHISGOC team to think big and not be intimidated with the task of organizing 56 sports and 531 events in 53 competition venues.
“In sports, you have to go into a game thinking about big wins and victories. You can’t compete with a losing mentality. You have to have a winner’s mindset,” says Alan.
This kind of mindset was what he rallied to athletes and coaches, down to the ushers, staff, and volunteers who organized the events, from the opening to the closing ceremonies.
“We Win as One” was indeed prophetic as Filipino athletes dominated the first day of competition and sustained a powerful drive that ended with the country registering a runaway total of 149 victories. The medal haul was unprecedented in the country’s sporting history and Team Philippines pulled off the biggest overall victory in the history of the SEA Games.
“This is a story of Filipino resilience and the power of a nation united in boosting the performances of its athletes in their respective sporting competitions,” says Alan. “Behind the difficulties and challenges we faced after more than a decade, we have rediscovered and paid tribute to the strength and winning spirit of every athlete and every Filipino. We fight as one. We win as one. The SEA Games experience taught the Filipinos that we can harness more strength and power when we act and work as one nation. In sports, as with everything else, teamwork and camaraderie are keys to making impossible things happen.”