10:05 a.m. – We just went through the formal opening of the 6th BIMP EAGA Friendship Games here in Brunei Darussalam with Team Philippines in high spirits.
I was named head of Team Mindanao and just like in yesterday’s flag raising ceremonies, I was at the head the delegation and received the token from our hosts. Joseph Encabo is head of the whole Philippine contingent after PSC Chair Butch Ramirez begged off due to the budget hearings in Manila. Former councilor Greg Austria is head of Team Palawan.
Swimming competitions started this morning, while most of the other sports namely athletics, aquatics, badminton, pencak silat and sepak takraw would commence this afternoon. Futsal, an indoor version of football, started yesterday.
The hosts from Brunei are leaving no stone unturned in this historic first time for them to organize the Friendship Games. We also took note of the participation of a guest team from Northern Territory of Australia for the first time since 1996. Their entry was well applauded during the opening this morning.
Other contingents are from host Brunei, East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Papua, West Papua, Central Sulawesi and South Sulawesi from Indonesia and Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan from Malaysia.
The Friendship Games, first hosted by General Santos, aims to promote cooperation among the member countries of the sub-region of the ASEAN through sports and cultural exchange.
Side events at the Games include Youth Exchange, Exhibits, Sports Seminars and special competitions among officials.
MIndanao will host again the Games in 2010. Previous hosts were Kuching, Sarawak in 1997; Puerto Princesa, Palawan in 2003; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 2004; and Makasar, South Sulawesi in 2006.
All the members of Team Philippines are staying at the Games Village, a cluster of three four-storey athletes dormitories at the sprawling Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.
The Philippine Embassy through Minister and Consul Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat has been very helpful to the Philippine contingent.
I will post results of the Games once they arrived here at the Media Center where I was accredited representing Mindanao Times.
10:50 a.m. – First results from swimming
Men 50 Meter Butterfly
Gold – Wahyu Wibisone- South Sulawesi
Silver – Pederewski Awang Pan – Sabah
Bronze – Jefrey Pelosa – Palawan
Women 100 Meter Breaststroke
Gold – Esther Yii Shu Ning – Sarawak
Silver – Niken Yuniarti – South Sulawesi
Bronze – Tiara Beboney Tudio – Mindanao
Men 100 Meter Breaststroke
Gold – Pederewski Awang Pan – Sabah
Silver – Emmanuele Puasabas – Mindanao
Bronze – Hasril Mamma – South Sulawesi
Men 1500 Meter Freestyle
Gold – Lee Jun Yi – Sabah
Silver – Lawin Dacera – Mindanao
Jason Jiang Kulay – Sarawak
Women 50 Meter Butterfly
Gold – Wan See Mun Terri – Sabah
Silver – Carol Pang – Sabah
Bronze – Sarah Butler – Northern Territory
Women 400 Meter Individual Medley
Gold – Lai Wei Li – Sabah
Silver – Jessica Laurens – South Sulawesi
Regiena Astrid Marie Quesada – Mindanao
11:30 – Finally Team Mindanao won its first gold in Men 400 Meter Individual Medley through Lawin Dacera of General Santos. Cheers to Team Mindanao!