I was wrong on my prediction that the Philippines will have a minimum of 55 golds in the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia. They just had delivered 36 gold medals behind Singapore with 42 and placed themselves in sixth on the over-all ranking.
This is very disappointing for Filipinos whose hopes sometimes rely on the victories of his own fellowmen. Victory serves as an inspiration and motivation for others to perform well and boost one's morale. But in this edition of SEA Games, with what the Filipino athletes had shown, it was unpleasant performance. Poor performances are the results of poor and bad managements of the Philippine Olympic Committee who dictates the Philippine Sports Commission. Both are responsible on things Filipino athletes were involved like in the recently concluded 26th SEA Games.
Many were not surprised on what will be the outcome of this edition of SEA Games. From the beginning. it was a battle between athletes and the government sports officials regarding on who will be sent to the biennial meet. The problem occurred due to the financial assistance the officials received from the government is less than what they are expecting. But help came from different private sectors and this gives no reasons for other athletes not to join the Southeast Asian Games.
Apart from that, sports campaign in the Philippines is not that intense. You will know only one or two like when you hear the name Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao - that's boxing or when you heard "Gilas" and "Azkals" - these are basketball and football respectively. But when you talk about "kempo", "Pencak Silat" or "Petanque", probably someone will ask "What kind of food are those?" Filipinos are not aware of other sports in which our neighbors in Southeast Asia are familiar with. By enhancing the programs in which the Filipinos are familiar with and introducing sports which are not, this may give a lot of improvements to Philippine sports.
Another problem which the Philippine Sports Commission has is having old athletes. Some of those athletes were seen decade in the SEA Games and still participating in the games. The strength of a new rope compare to the old rope is much higher. This could mean that old athletes are expiring. Strength of a 18-24 years old is very different to the strength of a 35-50 year old athlete. They might have same strength but how long their strength can last? And comparing to other countries, they always have fresh and new faces in SEA Games. They exposed them to the lowest regional games which is the SEA Games and then when they had the experience in the SEA Games, they prepare themselves to a different level of competitions. See. There is transition period. They have athletes ready to substitute the older one.
Training facilities also contributes in the worst finished of Philippines in the SEA Games 26. Old sports facilities in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex are still being used. Training camps are nowhere but with the help of local government like with just what happen to the athletics, they were given chance to train in the province of Laguna. Also, proper gadgets were not fully given to the Pinoy athletes.
There's such thing as a "Hit & Run Athletes". Athletes who prefer to compete not under Philippine flag or choose to compete for higher financial assistance only for themselves are called "Hit & Run Athletes". This happened in swimming and in basketball. Their hearts are not for the spirit of nationalism and patriotism for the country but for love of money.
Sports martial law must also put into an end. If someone stays long in his office without recognizing himself ineffective and putting himself in a podium he doesn't deserved is called a sport martial law and sport cruelty. Putting hands in the necks of the heads of national sport association's in exchange of stay in position and benefits is a crime that needs proper justice.
As the biennial meet continues with the Burmese welcoming the athletes in 2013, it is better to distinguish what possible adjustments to be done, what possible solutions for the looming performances of the athletes, what better preparation to hold, better understanding of different sports, what grassroots programs and training for different age levels to be taken and to have good and comfortable training camps for the athletes. These are some concerns that must be put a total and full focus for Philippine sports.