The City of Da Nang is putting forth a great effort to put up a memorable and well run Asian Beach Games. The venues are well set up and to specifications; the volunteers are cheerful, helpful, and efficient when you are able to overcome a few communication problems, and the city services have catered to the needs of the games- hospitals are on alert, the police have managed traffic and security well, and the natives are polite and respectful to all members of the various national delegations.
But, these are BEACH Games, meaning while most protocols and conventions are followed, there are a few exceptions like flip flops are official wear, after all, aside from going barefoot, what better way to negotiate the sand and surf than with a pair of Caribbean slippers. Then there are all manner of swim wear and shorts from bikinis to full body suits.
So in keeping with that spirit, the Opening Ceremonies had all the fanfare and cermony of a proper multi-sport opening with some twists,if you will.
Our parade uniform were the sponsored issue Spyder head gear; BO Athletics’ shorts, shirt, and jacket which CDM Karen Caballero insisted had to be zipped up to our throats, and the Caribbeans. Some of the traditionalists in the delegation (you know who you are) had some misgivings about the ensemble but as things turned out, the PHI Team was probably rpobaby the most appropriately, if not best, dressed delegation.
It poured just before the parade of nations. Backstage were the the teams gathered, the Team PHI had a grand ol’ time with selfies, which in turn broke the shyness and barriers, so people started introducing themselves and getting to know each other. CDM Karen remarked, “It relaxed things and bonding was achieved. I wanted ti have a PHILIPPINE Team, not a fragmented bunch of sports teams, and the fun we had back stage helped achieve this.”
Marching in, Team PHI was the most lively and game, braving the elements and representing the country in a fun but dignified manner.
It was the right way to formally begin ABG5!