2005 Southeast Asian Games

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23rd Southeast Asian Games
SEA Games 2005 Logo.png
Host city Manila
Country Philippines
Motto One Heritage, One Southeast Asia
Nations participating 11
Athletes participating 5336
Events 443
Sports 40
Opening ceremony 27 November 2005
Closing ceremony 5 December 2005
Officially opened by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Philippines
Athlete's Oath Mikaela "Mikee" Cojuangco-Jaworski
Judge's Oath Caesar Mateo
Torch lighter Maria Antoinette Rivero
Ceremony venue Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park
Website 2005 Southeast Asian Games
2003 2007  >

The 2005 Southeast Asian Games (Filipino: Palaro ng Timog Silangang Asya 2005), officially known as the 23rd Southeast Asian Games was a multi-sport event held in the Philippines from 27 November to 5 December 2005 with 443 events in 40 sports and disciplines featured in the games. The games were participated by the eleven member countries of the Southeast Asian Games Federation. This was the first time that the opening and closing ceremonies were held in an open field instead of a stadium, setting the record for the world's largest live audience in an opening ceremony with 200,000 people at the Quirino Grandstand. These games were also noted for having the most number of delegates in the history of the SEA Games at that time. Several events commenced before the games include men's football which commenced on 20 November, Water polo which began on 21 November, women's football on 23 November, and sailing and tennis on 26 November.

The first gold medal of the games was awarded to Singapore when it won its 21st consecutive SEA Games gold in water polo. East Timor got their first medals as a SEA Games Federation member with 3 bronzes. And finally, the Philippines grabbed its first overall championship in the SEA Games with 113 golds, 84 silvers and 94 bronzes. The games is the 3rd Southeast Asian Games in the 21st century and the 3rd in the 3rd millennium. This was the third SEA Games hosted by the Philippines and its first since 1991. Previously, Philippines stages the games in 1981 and 1991. Although many of the events took place around Metro Manila, other events notably aquatics, football and volleyball were held in Cebu City, Bacolod, Angeles, Subic Bay, and Los Baños. Philippines is the sixth nation to host the Southeast Asian Games after Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and before Brunei and Vietnam.

The final medal tally was led by host Philippines, followed by Thailand and Vietnam. Several Asian, Games and national records were broken during the games. Though there were several controversies, the games were deemed generally successful with the rising standard of competition amongst the Southeast Asian Nations.


Development and preparation[edit]

The Philippine SEA Games Organising Committee (PhilSOC) was formed to oversee the staging of the games.[1]


Host cities of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games.

Metro Manila served as the main hub of the Games, though several events also took place in Bacolod City, Cebu City, Los Baños and Canlubang in Laguna, Tagaytay City in Cavite province, Angeles City in Pampanga, and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales.

Competition venues
Non-competition venues

Torch relay[edit]

A ceremony was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, the host of the 2003 Southeast Asian Games to pass the flame to 2005 edition's host, the Philippines. After the flame arrived in Cebu, it passed through several cities in the Philippines before it ended in Manila on 27 November 2005.[2]


Gilas (Might), the 23rd Southeast Asian Games Philippines 2005 Official Mascot


The logo of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games is a festival mask similar to those found in most Southeast Asian countries. It represents the many different cultures that came together for the Games. At the same time the mask captures the exuberant spirit and hospitality of the Filipinos. The logo was inspired by the MassKara Festival held annually in Bacolod City, one of the satellite venues of the event. The logo was designed by Filipino freelance graphic designer Joel Manalastas.


The mascot of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games is a Philippine eagle named Gilas (Skill/Might). The Philippine eagle is one of the world's largest eagles, distinct for its majestic plumage on its head. The eagle is a symbol of elegance, strength and pride. It captured the winning spirit of the athletes. Gilas was inspired by the Filipino words Maliksi (agile), Malakas (strong), Matalino (smart), Mataas (high), and Matalas (sharp).

The SEA Games mascot was originally a Philippine tarsier until the Philippine SEA Games Organising Committee (PhilSOC) changed it to the Philippine eagle.

The SEA Games mascot Gilas was designed by Filipino sportswriter/columnist Danny Simon.


The theme of the games was "One Heritage, One Southeast Asia". Highlighted during the games' opening ceremony, the theme emphasises unity and co-operation among the 11 member nations of the SEA Games Federation.

The official hymn was "We're All Just One." The hymn was composed by singer-composer Jose Mari Chan and lyricist Rene Nieva. It was sung by nine-year-old Julia Abueva, granddaughter of Philippine national artist Napoleon Abueva, and University of the Philippines President Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman. She was accompanied by the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab.


Billboards hang along EDSA for the Southeast Asian Games.

A total of 26 sponsors sponsored the games.[3]

The games[edit]

Opening ceremony[edit]

The opening ceremonies of the games were held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila; the first time a park was utilised instead of a stadium. By doing so, it brought down costs, alleviating the need to spend millions of pesos just to upgrade existing facilities. It also accommodated audiences and is considered large in an opening ceremony, bigger than the openers of the Olympic Games. Among the audiences were the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Philippines’ largest Islamic separatist group which sent representatives to attend the opening ceremonies as spectators. Renowned director Maria Montelibano was in charge of the overall program direction, while Ryan Cayabyab and Robert Tongco were in charge of musical and dance direction, respectively. Creative director Pogs Mendoza and assistant director Bebot Pondevida designed the stage.[4] For the first time in the history of the Southeast Asian Games, the opening ceremony was held in an open-air location.[5]

The Games opening started with the parade and entrance of the Philippine flag, carried by members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Following the flag were Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Girl Scouts of the Philippines from Sienna College and some of the host country's best athletes and SEA Games alumni, basketball star Allan Caidic, sprinter Lydia de Vega-Mercado, boxer Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, swimmer Akiko Thomson, sharpshooter Nathaniel "Tac" Padilla, taekwondo star Monsour del Rosario, equestrian champion Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, bowler Paeng Nepomuceno and world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. The now defunct San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Miguel Master Chorale, under the baton of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, rendered "Sabihin Mo Ikaw Ay Pilipino" during the parade and entrance of the Philippine flag, and then the Philippine National Anthem during the flag raising ceremony. After the national anthem, a colourful cultural dance was presented by the world-renowned Bayanihan Dance Troupe and Jocson Tribe groups.[6]

Leading the athletes was the SEA Games Federation Flag, carried by champion swimmer Eric Buhain, sprint queen Elma Muros-Posadas, badminton player Weena Lim, Mansueto Velasco, Monsour del Rosario and Paeng Nepomuceno. Brunei Darussalam led the Parade of Nations. After the entry of the delegation of Vietnam, Ati-Atihan dancers performed on stage and a large Philippine flag was unfurled by the volunteers from Gawad Kalinga to welcome Team Philippines, who wore stylized red and blue royal blue ramie linen barongs and salakot (A traditional wide-brimmed hat made of indigenous fibers, which is common in the region.) designed by international designer, Eric Pineda. Team Philippines was accompanied by Miss International 2005, Precious Lara Quigaman, current WBC Lightweight Champion, Manny Pacquiao and local celebrity, Angel Locsin.[7] Throughout the parade, the Orchestra and the Chorale provided the score. Each of the participating countries were honored when each of the flag bearers waived their colours in front of the stage one by one, a first in the opening ceremonies of the games. After the parade of nations, the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Miguel Master Chorale performed the SEA Games Overture to welcome the athletes. Bayang Barrios led the colorful song and dance number, "Ang Alamat ng Timog Silangan" ("The Legend of the Southeast"), signifying the theme for the games, "One Heritage, One Southeast Asia." The ten-minute number featured the talents of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe, Hot Legs and various volunteer dancers from different schools around the country. The number ended with a presentation of dances from different Southeast Asian countries and the entrance of the flags of the participating nations, to the delight of the crowd and the athletes.[4]

Southeast Asian Games Federation Chairman and Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco then gave a keynote speech aimed to inspiring athletes to perform their best in their events states that the host country is not just aspiring to win as many medals as it could but to show its good hospitality among its guests. Despite his removal as chairman of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee three months ago, Roberto Pagdanganan was given the task of introducing the guest of honour, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who entered the stage and formally declared the games open. To signify the opening of the games, fireworks lit the sky, and the SEA Games Flag was raised. Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski led the oath of sportsmanship and Cesar Mateo, the pledge for officiating judges. Singapore-based Filipino singer, Julia Abueva sang the theme, "We're All Just One," composed by Jose Mari Chan and written by Rene Nieva.[5][6] Equestrienne Toni Leviste, riding a horse, carried the torch in front of the Rizal Monument before passing it to Olympian Maria Antoinette Rivero. The flame came all the way from Vietnam, host of the previous games, while the torch came from the last Asian Games in Busan. Rivero then crossed the Roxas Boulevard by parting the crowd all the way to the Grandstand stage. She lit a small cauldron, extinguishing the torch. Then, the flame made its way to the large cauldron, signaling the start of the games.[6] The opening ceremony ended with a 45-minute concert. Local band Rivermaya, together with the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra, played the SEA Games song, "Posible," which inspired athletes that a medal win is possible. A fireworks display was on show during the performance.[5][8]

Closing ceremony[edit]

The closing ceremony of the Games was held at the Quirino Grandstand on 5 December, marking the end of the successful event. The Philippines, for the first time in the history of the Games, emerged as the overall champions of the games after 28 years.

The ceremony began with songs and dance performances by local artists and performers, followed by the parade of athletes by order of sports competed at the games. After President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo gave her speech, she declared the 23rd Southeast Asian games closed. The flame of the games' cauldron was extinguished and the Federation flag was lowered. Mike Arroyo, the Head of Mission of Team Philippines was accompanied by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose `Peping’ Cojuangco Jr. to handed over the SEA Games Federation flag to Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister, Suwat Liptapanlop, a symbol of the SEA Games responsibilities being handed over to Thailand, host of the 2007 Southeast Asian Games. The Thai National Anthem was played as the National flag of Thailand was raised. A Thailand segment performance was performed by Thai dancers, who graced the stage to provide spectators with a glimpse of what the athletes would expect in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The ceremony concluded with a Filipino farewell segment performance, showing the culture of the Philippines.[9]

Participating nations[edit]


The 2005 SEAG featured 40 sports in more than 393 events. The 23rd edition of the games had the highest number of sporting events in the entire history of the SEAG at that time; more events than the Asian Games and the Olympic Games. The Southeast Asian Games Federation, through the recommendation of the Philippine SEA Games Organising Committee (PhilSOC), decided to exclude basketball, a popular sport in the Philippines, from the competitions due to the decision of FIBA to ban the host country to participate in any international competitions of the sport.[10][11]

¹ - not an official Olympic Sport
² - sport played only in the SEA Games
³ - not a traditional Olympic nor SEA Games Sport and introduced only by the host country.
° - a former official Olympic Sport, not applied in previous host countries and was introduced only by the host country.


OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medals CC Closing ceremony
November / December 20
Gold medals
Ceremonies OC CC
Archery 2 2 4
Arnis 4 2 6
Athletics 3 14 7 16 2 42
Badminton 2 5 7
Baseball 1 1
Billiards and snooker 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 13
Bodybuilding 6 6
Boxing 14 14
Bowling 2 2 2 2 2 10

Medal table[edit]

A total of 1462 medals, comprising 444 gold medals, 434 silver medals, and 584 bronze medals were awarded to athletes. The Host Philippines performance was their best ever yet in Southeast Asian Games history and emerged as overall champion of the games.[12][13]


  *   Host nation (Philippines)

2005 Southeast Asian Games medal table
 Rank  NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Philippines (PHI)* 113 84 94 291
2  Thailand (THA) 87 78 118 283
3  Vietnam (VIE) 71 68 89 228
4  Malaysia (MAS) 61 49 65 175
5  Indonesia (INA) 49 79 89 217
6  Singapore (SIN) 42 32 55 129
7  Myanmar (MYA) 17 34 48 99
8  Laos (LAO) 3 4 12 19
9  Brunei (BRU) 1 3 2 6
10  Cambodia (CAM) 0 3 9 12
11  Timor-Leste (TLS) 0 0 3 3
Total (11 NOCs) 444 434 584 1462


The Games was broadcast live and uninterrupted in the Philippines, simultaneously by ABC 5, the National Broadcasting Network, Southern Broadcasting Network, Solar Sports, DZBB-TV, Radio Philippines Network, ABS-CBN, DZMM, DZRH, Sports Radio 918 and the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation. In Singapore, the games was broadcast on Mediacorp Channel 5, in Thailand by Channel 5 and in Vietnam by VTV Channel 3. Mabuhay Satellite transmitted the ceremony to international broadcasters through the Aguila 2 satellite.[6]

Concerns and controversies[edit]

  • The Philippines' decision to scatter the events in multiple cities across the country posed logistical problems for the athletes and officials. Thailand protested a boxing decision that favoured the host country to the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The 2005 SEA Games website was also criticised for its outdated tally of the medal standings.
  • At the Opening Ceremony, President Arroyo was booed by the spectators due to the alleged cheating in the Philippine general election, 2004.
  • Venues outside Manila actively prepared for welcoming the visiting athletes, except for organisers in the capital region had numerous problems drumming-up widespread support and exposure for the Games. Among the only visible indications of the Games, apart from the commercial sponsors' advertisements, were the welcome banners put up by the city government.
  • As with previous games, the Filipino hosts introduced non-Olympic events or sports normally not contested in previous games into the program which are often advantageous to the home country, including Arnis, Baseball, Dancesport, Lawn Bowls and Softball. As expected, the hosts dominated these events.
  • Three Vietnamese Pencak Silat competitors, Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, Nguyen Van Hung and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thuy had their schedules changed at the last minute and without due notification to the athletes involved. Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, for instance, discovered the change only by chance, and would have forfeited the game if she did not turn up during the rescheduled time. All three of them later won gold medals.
    • A day later, another Vietnamese Pencak Silat athlete was disadvantaged by the same 'sudden rescheduling'. Le Anh Tuan was in his lunch break to prepare for his match in the afternoon when he heard his name called to turn up for the match against a Filipino athlete. Le Anh Tuan had to fight taking the risk of injury as a result of not doing enough warming-up. He later won the match.
  • At the opening ceremonies in Cebu City, organizers were impressed over the sell-out crowd of 20,000 spectators. However, city officials were furious over how this was achieved after they discovered that the planning committee for the Cebu opening ceremonies heavily slashed ticket prices from 100 pesos to 20 pesos. Even at P20 per ticket, discounts were given further. Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña said that he was disappointed that the sell-out crowd was achieved by selling tickets with "dirt cheapness", and was also furious over the organizers' overspending for the event.
  • In Table Tennis, the Singaporean delegation, although widely expected to retain their titles, voiced objections over the change of tables used without informing the athletes prior to the competitions, a move that violates international rules.
  • In Marathon, both male and female athletes were scheduled to run on the same route, the women departed 10 minutes before the men did, which was against the rules. It is provided by the rules that if male and female runners are to be arranged in the same route, the females must depart at least 30 minutes before the males do.
    • Because of this arrangement, this later broke out protest by the Vietnamese team. The judges argued that the Vietnamese male runner, Nguyen Van Khoa, was 'illegally pacing' his female teammate, Nguyen Thi Hoa, from the 28th kilometer to the finish line 'to assist her to win the medal'. Both competitors were disqualified.
    • The Vietnamese team, however, defended that because male runners departure was just only 10 minutes after the females, they must catch up the females somewhere mid-way; and no regulations provide that the male runner must run faster than the female. The marshals' decision however remained unchanged.
  • Thailand, through Jaruk Areerajakaran, the secretary-general of Thailand's Olympic Committee, claims that the Philippines is cheating throughout the course of the Games by rigging the results of the events, it being more concerned in winning gold medals rather than the spirit of the games. The scandal even prompted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to consider bringing up the issue at the upcoming ASEAN summit in Malaysia and/or to hold a summit on fair play during the SEA Games. The Philippines has denied rigging the results of the sports mentioned by Thaksin, which include Aquatics, Athletics and Fencing. One protest filed by the Thai delegation was taken into action immediately after watching the video-finish of the 10,000 meter run. The Filipino winner returned the gold medal in exchange of the silver medal of the Thai runner.
    • In a development of this scandal, Chaiyapak Siriwat, the vice-president of the Thailand Olympic Council, apologized to the Philippines for the report, claiming that it is "inappropriate and baseless". Confirmation is still pending over the comments of the Thai prime minister over his disappointment over the results of the SEA Games. In fact, he (Siriwat) has yet to receive any complaint from the Thai delegation about any judging irregularities.
    • Despite the organizer's denial of rigging the results, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered an investigation into the controversy raised by Thaksin's remarks about officiating during the Games.
    • The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement apparently aimed at defusing the controversy, they said that Thaksin did not directly accuse the Philippines of favoring its athletes to win and blamed the media for taking the Prime Minister's remarks "out of context." (Statement) Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister, Suwat Liptapanlop, arrived December 3 to personally witness the events in the games. After watching a tennis game finals between Thailand and the Philippines (lower seeded Philippines won), Suwat stressed that the Philippines and Thailand "have very good relations" and the controversy won' t destroy diplomatic relations between Philippines and Thailand. He also acknowledge the efforts made by Philippines of hosting the games.
    • The allegations are no longer an issue for the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur as the other nine ASEAN countries and East Timor congratulated the Philippines for its overall win.
  • Two Thai aquatics officials have been sanctioned by FINA (International Aquatics Federation) for biased judging. One Thai diving judge was disciplined by the FINA neutral referee from New Zealand for “obviously favoring his own diver”. Another Thai referee, in water polo, was banned from the deck because of “intentional bad calls and unfair player exclusions.” The referee had the Vietnamese team lose points thus he was never allowed to be on the deck again according to a FINA neutral delegate from Iran.
  • An emotional Filipino crowd threw coins into the boxing ring during the men's middleweight finals in Bacolod City, forcing the referee to stop the fight in favor of Thai boxer Suriya Prasatinphimai who was leading in the first round. It was not clear what started the commotion, but ring announcers said the home crowd were angry that the judges were not scoring some of the punches being made by Filipino boxer Reynaldo Galido. The allegations nearly sparked riots.
  • According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, during Track and Field, the Philippine delegation's top distance runner, in a last-ditch attempt to win the gold, blocked the lane of his fast-approaching Thai counterpart. Because of this, he was promptly disqualified.
  • After the Philippines lost to Myanmar in the women's Sepak Takraw finals, a team manager immediately filed a protest and requested a gender test of three Myanmar players. The three were subjected to the mandatory doping test.
    • The Philippine team withdrew the protest December 4 as a sign of friendship and sportsmanship. The decision came to defuse any controversy and to show its goodwill as hosts.
  • Two Vietnamese Football players, striker Pham Van Quyen and midfielder Le Quoc Vuong, both from the national Under 23 team, were arrested in Hanoi for "indulging in betting on games and organizing betting" (match fixing). The scandal apparently took place in a match with Vietnam placed against Myanmar, with Vietnam winning 1-0. However, the results are disputed after allegations rose on state television result that some Vietnamese players appeared to slow down their play. It's also been alleged that Pham Van Quyen received 23 million VND from two women in Ho Chi Minh City on the way to Hanoi from Manila for the match fix.
    • Meanwhile, the Philippine government praised Vietnamese officials for the crackdown on football corruption and the arrest of the two football players. Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Robert Aventajado said that the arrests were made to protect the sport and that Vietnam is working to stem further damage that the scandal has caused to it.
    • Two more players, midfielder Huynh Quoc Anh and defender Le Bat Hieu, were arrested on the same charges over the same scandal. It is believed that these players also received twenty million đồng from local bookmakers to make sure that Vietnam does not win by more than one goal. The same accusation is also believed to be applied to the 23 million đồng payout to Pham Van Quyen.[14][15][16][17][18]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Southeast Asian Games Succeeded by
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand