Setting the bar high for the next host of the SEA Games, the Philippines has successfully mounted a breathtaking opening ceremony that was cultural, timely, and patriotic.
Putting the spotlight to the grandeur of Filipino culture, there sure wasn't any shortage of anything nationalistic at the rousing SEA Games 2019 opening ceremony. The crowd was treated with an overwhelmingly fantastic show—from Lani Misalucha singing the Philippine national anthem, renowned Filipino artists' jaw-dropping performances, to finally, the traditional march of the athletes. A colorful and moving spectacle of our country's rich history, another thing that stood out the most were the fashion that the artists and athletes wore. In fact, these athletes and personalities who performed at the biennial sports event all donned a handful of exquisite creations by renowned Filipino designers.
Athletes in Francis Libiran
Garbing the athletes for their march at the opening ceremony is none other than Francis Libiran. In this effort, he created a contemporary take on the classic Barong Tagalog wherein instead of putting all details at front, it was placed on one shoulder adjacent to the accent on the sleeves. Francis shared with MEGA that the reason he put an embroidered sun is "to instill [to] the athletes that as they’re walking down the parade, they're like warriors. That’s why this sun really has a meaning; it says a lot about Filipino’s cultural background."
Filipino Artists In Indigenous Tribal Wear
[gallery link="file" size="large" ids="160041,160039,160051"] Both established and emerging Filipino artists were a stunner on the stage—from Aicelle Santos, Elmo Magalona, KZ Tandingan, Iñigo Pascual, to Christian Bautista. Wearing appropriations of lovely indigenous tribal wear, they all performed their own rendition of iconic Pinoy songs such as Minamahal Kita, Mga Kababayan, Man from Manila, and Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika.
A Parade of Queens
[gallery columns="2" link="file" size="large" ids="160044,160046"] As the world of pageantry is also a big part of the modern culture of the Filipinos, it's only fitting to witness former beauty queens who represented the country in the global scene. We saw Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurztbach wearing a stunning gold ensemble, Miss World 2013 Megan Young wearing a gown colored in our flag's primary colors, and Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco in an intricate blue draped gown punctuated by floral appliques.