DFA Secretary Locsin thanks Iglesia Ni Cristo for building “Arena of the Nation”

Performers take part as a digital fireworks fountain is shown during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games) at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan province, north of Manila on November 30, 2019. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)


(Eagle News) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. thanked and commended the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) for building the world-class 55,000-seater Philippine Arena, making it possible for the successful and spectacular 30th Southeast Asian Games opening that brought pride to the nation.

“Thank you Iglesia ni Cristo; thank you for the Arena of the Nation that made this Triumph of the Will to Serve possible,” he said in a tweet.

Locsin also tweeted that the President was so happy with the successful 30th SEA Games opening ceremonies at the Philippine Arena that he cheered and even danced during the event as he and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei watched inside the arena.

Locsin said that the President really made it a point to show his support for the FIlipino athletes at the Philippine Arena on Saturday, Nov. 30, even though he was tired from a full day of activities that included a bilateral meeting with Brunei leader and Prime Minister Sultan Bolkiah in Malacanang, and  the Bonifacio Day ceremonies in Caloocan City earlier in the afternoon.

Locsin confirmed that that President so enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies at the Philippine Arena, that he even danced to the infectious music that had lifted spirits and inspired many.

The Foreign Affairs chief also noted how Sultan Bolkiah was emphatic in saying that all of the athletes of Brunei only had praises and no complaints about the Philippines’ so far hosting the SEA Games.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam watch the performances during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on November 30, 2019. REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Brunei initially was the country scheduled to host the 2019 SEA Games, but decided to withdraw in 2015 citing the lack of sports facilities and accommodation for the SEA Games athletes this 2019, dubbed as the biggest SEA Games in history with 56 sporting events.

The 30th SEA Games hosted by the Philippines has a total of 530 games to be played in 56 venues spread across 4 clusters including Metro Manila, Subic, and the New Clark City where a world-class stadium was built for the tournament.

The Philippine SEA Games organizers early on had promised a world-class opening fit for a world-class venue which has been adjudged by Guinness Records as the largest mixed-use indoor theater.