MIKE ARROYO TO WELCOME SEA GAMES FLAME TODAY

CEBU CITY, November 14, 2005 
(STAR) By Rafael S. Alas III The Freeman - Runners from different schools will again take the limelight this morning as they transfer the flame of the 23rd Southeast Asian Game (SEAG) from Mandaue City to Cebu City, where First Gentleman Mike Arroyo will welcome the arrival at the Cebu City Hall.

Yesterday, long distance runner Christy Sevilleno and International Children's Games campaigner Michael Kenn Villaruel, both from University of Cebu, took turns in bringing the torch to the Mandaue City Hall.

During the first stop in Danao City, the flame was carried by middle distance runner Adelio Chiang, also of UC.

Danao City Councilor Oscar "Boying" Rodriguez turned over the flame to Philippine Councilors League of the Philippines president and Mandaue City councilor Carlo Fortuna after a brief ceremony in baranggay Jagobiao.

Fortuna was also joined in the ceremony by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez and other Mandaue City Hall officials.

Fortuna then led the motorcade from Jagobiao to Maguikay, after which Sevilleno, Villaruel and a group of selected Cebu athletes ran towards the Mandaue City Hall carrying the flame, the SEA Games flag and the colors of the 11 participating nations.

Today, there will be minor changes in the schedule of the torch relay. After the turnover ceremony at barangay Subangdaku, the flame will instead be carried by a motorcade towards JY Square in Lahug and from there the runners will take over the task of carrying the flame and the flags to the Cebu City Hall.

A brief welcome ceremony will be held at the City Hall with Arroyo, Ramirez and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña expected to give inspirational talks to uplift the spirits of the members of the Philippine national team, who will also be present.

From the City Hall, the flame will then be turned over to Cebu City Sports Commission chairman Jonathan Guardo at the Fuente Osmeña Circle for him to bring it to the Cebu Provincial Capitol, where Gov. Gwen Garcia is waiting.

While the torch travels to the Capitol building, First Gentleman Arroyo and some members of the Cebu Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (CebuSOC) will inspect all the venues to be used for the SEA Games.

Airports assure smooth entry of SEAG visitors The Philippine Star 11/14/2005

Proper protocol will be observed and followed in the country’s local and international airports to ensure a safe and convenient travel for all participating athletes and officials in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games.

"Everything is in place and our personnel are properly coordinating with the agencies concerned to take care the needs of the arriving participants," said Philsoc protocol and liaison chief Gen. (ret.) Mario Tanchangco.

Immigration officials, according to Tanchangco, have put up a special lane for the visiting SEA Games delegates.

* * *

CEBU — Kenn Villarreal, a 16-year-old runner, was given the honor of carrying the SEA Games torch from Danao to Mandaue City Sunday.

Villareal was joined by fellow runners in bringing the torch to Mandaue.

Following a short ceremony, Mandaue City councilor Carlo Fortuna and city sports chairwoman Cheryl Ouano formally received the official torch from Danao City councilor Boying Rodriguez.

"We’re very inspired feeling the support of our fellow Cebuanos," said Fortuna, also the president of the Philippine Councilor League. "Our motorcade covered six kilometers and thousands of people joined us."

The torch will stay in Cebu until today before it proceeds to Bacolod via Dumaguete. From Bacolod, it passes through Iloilo and then Mindoro to Batangas, Calamba and Los Baños, where the aquatics events are scheduled.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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