The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee finally revealed the official mascot and the logo of the upcoming meet next year, and it appears it has finalized a widely criticized design.
The government used the same logo of 11 conjoined circles presented to the Olympic Council of Asia last August and was met with ire on social media, spawning hilarious memes. The circles are supposed to represent the 11 Southeast Asian nations.
The unveiling happened at the start of the SEA games countdown last Friday at the Bayanihan Park in Angeles City in Pampanga. The 30th SEA games will carry the theme or slogan “We win as one.”
Such design drew criticisms due to its poor quality. Some art enthusiasts created their own versions of it instead.
The mascot, meanwhile, draws inspiration from the logo. It is a stuffed figure with conjoined soft balls with its central white ball bearing a smiling face.
❇️OFFICIAL LOGO, SLOGAN & MASCOT OF 2019 SEA GAMES Now that the official logo, slogan & mascot of 2019 SEA…
Ramon Sazura, Philsgoc executive director, said the mascot was named “Pami,” short for the Filipino word “pamilya.”
“Na-reveal lang muna natin ang (We just revealed the) slogan and the logo but Pami is our official mascot. It should be ready, I think we just need to put it on the awareness and promotions,” Sazura said.
Many people questioned the mascot’s chosen form when there are more appropriate symbols that can be used to represent the country.
Others quipped that “Pami” is short for “pamimigay na ang Pinas sa China” or giving the Philippines to China.
Philippines can do better than that hmmp why not eagle mascot or some good image that really represent PI i mean that mascot is like a freakin chinese character so “Pami” mean pami-migay na ang pinas sa china ganon #Foreshadowing
— MaVhY⚔️ (@cobaltqueen17) December 1, 2018
Following the earlier backlash of the logo, Alan Peter Cayetano, former foreign affairs secretary, excused it for being a “work in progress.”
He also defended its simplicity, saying it was “good” because an elementary student could easily recognize and draw it.
Aside from the mascot and the logo, a clock structure was also built in the shape of the logo. It was designed by Budji+Royal, a local-based architecture firm.
The Bases Conversion Development Authority said the countdown ceremony is a “time-honored” tradition of the sports meet as a lead up to the games.
“The logo—11 colored linked rings—brings together and incorporates the 11 participating countries laid out in the likeness and figure of the Philippine map,” the BCDA said.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, meanwhile, said that the clock represents optimism for the country’s future.
“The activation of this countdown clock represents our optimism for a future that is full of promises. It symbolizes the common aspirations of our Southeast Asian family for a stronger regional community that is bound by friendship, camaraderie, cooperation and teamwork,” Medialdea said.
The 30th SEA games will be held from November 30 to December 11, 2019 in 47 venues within the areas of Clark in Pampanga, Subic Bay in Zambales and in Metro Manila.
It is expected to be the biggest of its kind in history with a total of 9,840 athletes to perform in 56 sports and 529 events.
The grand opening ceremonies will be held at the Philippine Arena stadium, touted as the world’s largest indoor arena, in Bocaue, Bulacan.
It was in 2005 when the Philippines last hosted the SEA games during which the overall title was won.