Cayetano blasted online for SEA Games closing rant

Dante Navarro - Philstar.com
Cayetano blasted online for SEA Games closing rant
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee or PHISGOC.
PIA 3 / Cherie Joyce Flores

MANILA, Philippines — Barely the euphoria of the 30th SEA Games’ closing ceremony had subsided, social media was abuzz with scathing comments on House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s long speech that delved much on politics, clichés and his wife. 

Cayetano’s rant against critics of the Philippines’ hosting of the Games left an indelible mark to an otherwise grand, athlete-centered affair, ending it with a sarcastically “Peace be with you” line and sign.

“I like it when Cayetano speaks on TV. He helps me lessen my electric bill,” said Twitter users @edjStark, which drew rejoinders from a number of fellow users of the microblogging platform.

“OMG I did the same thing,” said @ViancaEMartinez. “Then I though he has finished, turned on the TV, only to see that he was still droning on and on. Turned it off again and just watched my dog play with his chew boy.”

“Savage,” according to @chikahontass and “No TV for me as well” from @loloy_15h.

“I think the speech should be athlete-centered, not Allan-centered,” said @princessmaiter.

The 11-nation, 12-day meet ended in a captivating closing rites kick-started by the parade of nations and athletes and highlighted by a light drone show, the awarding of the overall championship to host Philippines, a series of numbers from Pinoy world class performers, the handover of the hosting chores to Vietnam and the extinguishing of the P55 million SEA Games cauldron.

After a couple of speakers, Cayetano took the podium and delivered his piece, capping it with:

“For those of you who did not believe, for those of you who said this could not be done, for those of you who said this stadium will not be built on time, for those of you who said ‘sayang ang pera (waste of money), dapat hindi tayo nag-host (we should not have hosted),’ sa lahat ng nagkalat ng fake news (for all those who spread fake news), ang masasabi ko sa inyo, at ito itaga niyo sa bato: (what I can say to you, and you can cast this in stone): Peace be with you,” said Cayetano while flashing the peace sign.

@RedMooFriends even made a breakdown of the speech: “90% — thanks to my friends and me, 5% — political something, 3% — his wife, 1.9% — repeating and playing with the tagline “We win as one” and 0.1% — thanks to our athletes.”

From @Tsukkill: “Ugh can Cayetano stfu? This is the worst ill-written speech I’ve ever heard, who wrote this? yikes”

“And you think you won the hearts of the Filipinos with that cringy speech of yours, Cayetano? Pasikat amp!” said @kahlan_001 while @itsbriankevin said: “Si Alan Peter Cayetano yung perfect example ng bida-bidang tao na di marunong lumugar.”

He added: “The issues you are presenting are not an issue of the other countries. You should have selected a different venue/ceremonies.”

From @mydearLJ: “I think the speech should include more truthful inspiring words for the athletes and for each country which participated, not on the political side.”

The organizing PHISGOC, which Cayetano heads as chairman, took a lot of beating following a chaotic run-up to the Games — from transportation, accommodations, food, among others, prompting President Duterte to issue an apology to all those who were affected by all the snafus.

But all was settled and put in order as the Games kicked off, wore on until the final event was played, impressing athletes and officials alike with OCA (Olympic Council of Asia vice president Wei Jizhong lauding the Philippines and PHISGOC for their organization of the SEAG and saying that the country can even host “bigger-scale” events.

Not necessarily with PHISGOC at the helm again.

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