2005 Southeast Asian Games

The 23rd Southeast Asian Games (also known as the 2005 SEAG) were held in the Philippines from November 27th to December 5th in 2005. The games were participated by the eleven (11) nations of Southeast Asia. This was the first time that the opening and closing ceremonies were held in a large open field, despite the fact that Manila has many stadiums and/or arenas. The organization decided to hold the games at an open space to accommodate the large number of participants and spectators. As a result, the 2005 SEAG ranks as having the largest audience having reached 200,000 people during the opening and closing ceremonies. These games were also noted for having the most number of delegates in the history of the SEA Games, and despite the games was not held on multi-sports stadium, the games considered as the most successful and beautiful ceremonies in the history of SEA Games, beating recent games edition including 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Thailand. In the end, all participating countries received medals. The event was meant to tighten ties among Southeast Asian countries as a region and as a preparation as well for the upcoming Asian Games and Olympic Games .

Events in men's football actually started on November 20th, prior to the opening ceremony. Water polo events began on November 21st, womens' football on November 23rd, sailing on November 26th, and tennis on November 26th.

The first gold medal of the games was awarded to Singapore on November 25th when their water polo team came out undefeated during the round-robin tournament round. The Philippine team took the silver medal in that event, and Malaysia brought home the bronze.

East Timor received its first ever medal as a sovereign nation in the Philippine indigenous sport of Arnis.

The Games were also considered a valuable opportunity for athletes to gain competition experience and preparation for the upcoming Asian Games and Olympic Games. It was purposely created to strengthen friendship, solidarity and understanding among neighboring countries in the region.

This was the third SEA Games to be hosted by the Philippines. The last two times the Philippines hosted the games were in 1981 (see 1981 Southeast Asian Games), and again in 1991 (see 1991 Southeast Asian Games). Although the majority of events took place in/around Manila, logistical hurdles required the unusual step of spreading-out the events across the country; to ten other cities. This arrangement was not seen favorably by the participating countries who anticipated travel and accommodation issues to arise; a worry which was confirmed soon after their arrival.

Medal tally

(Host nation highlighted.)

Position Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Philippines 113 84 94 291
2 Thailand 87 78 118 283
3 Vietnam 71 68 89 228
4 Malaysia 61 49 65 175
5 Indonesia 49 79 89 217
6 Singapore 42 32 55 129
7 Myanmar 17 34 48 99
8 Laos 3 4 12 19
9 Brunei Darussalam 1 2 2 5
10 Cambodia 0 3 9 12
11 Timor Leste 0 0 3 3

There were 1,461 medals awarded, 444 of which were gold, 434 were silver, and 583 were bronze.


Gilas (Elegance) is a Philippine Eagle. It 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).

Originally, the mascot was supposed to be a Philippine tarsier until the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PhilSOC) changed it to the Philippine eagle.


The 2005 SEAG Logo shows 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.

Theme and Hymn

The theme of the games was "One Heritage, One Southeast Asia." The theme emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation necessary to meet a common goal and aspiration.

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 Ryan Cayabyab.


The organizing body for these Games was the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PhilSOC). Preparations by the host country for the SEA Games were criticized both locally and regionally. The visiting nations experienced logistical problems, particularly with accommodations and transportation. In addition, while venues outside Manila actively prepared for welcoming the visiting athletes, organizers 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.

Opening Ceremony

The 11 national flags of the participating countries in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games fly high during the opening ceremony on Sunday at the Quirino Grandstand

The opening ceremonies of the games were held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila; the first time a park was utilized 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 aided in accommodating the large audience. Despite the games was not held on multi-sports stadium, the games considered as the most successful and beautiful ceremonies in the history of SEA Games, beating recent games edition including 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Thailand.

200,000 spectators gathered at the park to witness the three-hour ceremony officiated by the Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Starting with a parade of the Philippine flag carried by members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Girl Scouts of the Philippines (from Sienna College of Quezon City), it was followed by the Philippines's best athletes, as well as some SEA Games alumni. After the national anthem of the Philippines was sung, a colorful cultural dance was presented by the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company.

The carrying of the SEA Games Federation Flag was led by alumni athlete Eric Buhain, sprint queen Elma Muros-Posadas, and badminton player Weena Lim. The athletes and officials from the participating countries then marched in alphabetical order starting with the contingent from Brunei Darussalam, and ending with the 740-strong Philippine contingent. Following tradition, the host country entered the arena last.

Cebu City and other satellite venues opened the Games two days earlier with pomp and pageantry. The opening ceremonies in Cebu served as a pre-cursor to the formal opening ceremonies in Manila.

In an unexpected move, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Philippines’ largest Islamic separatist group, sent representatives to attend the opening ceremonies as spectators; a “goodwill measure.”

Closing Ceremonies

The closing ceremonies of the Games were held at the Quirino Grandstand on December 5th, marking the end of the successful event. The Philippines, for the first time in the history of the Games, emerged as the champions after 28 years of fluctuating performances and medal tallying.

The Philippines passed on the SEA Games Federation Flag, as a sign of the completion of its hosting job, to the next host country, Thailand. Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister, Suwat Liptapanlop, was present to receive the flag. The Thai Olympic Committee will make the 24th edition of the games the most spectacular sporting event in its history, as the opening date also commemorates the 80th birth anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thai dancers graced the stage to provide spectators with a glimpse of what the athletes would expect in Nakhon Ratchasima. It was an amazing performance, featuring "Amazing Thailand" as the background.

It was a spectacular night as the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and San Miguel Master Chorale, under the baton of Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, added luster to renditions of Filipino classics.

The closing ceremony ended with a bang. The "One Big Heart" rally rushed the stage with all of the athletes participating. It was one big party. Tribal dancers were everywhere. Confetti showered the crowds. Lights danced to the rhythm of drums, and DJs spun records - adding music and chanting to the background. The celebration ended with a spectacular fireworks display as all of the athletes danced to the tune of unity and prosperity; probably the greatest, and the most beautiful, closing ceremony in the history of the Games.


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 Organizing 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.

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.


Country Athletes Officials
IOC Code Name Men Women Total Men Women Total
BRU Brunei Darussalam 88 21 109 109 11 120
CAM Cambodia 62 15 77 41 3 44
INA Indonesia 367 266 633 315 89 404
LAO Laos 66 9 75 60 6 66
MAS Malaysia 281 134 415 220 81 301
MYA Myanmar 192 140 332 154 34 188
PHI Philippines 454 289 743 221 87 308
SIN Singapore 195 168 363 216 75 291
THA Thailand 389 288 677 221 47 268
TLS Timor Leste 24 9 33 13 2 15
VIE Vietnam 360 292 652 254 60 314
Total 3213 2159 5336 1824 495 2319


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

3rd ASEAN ParaGames

The 3rd ASEANParaGames were held in Manila from December 14th to December 20th, 2005. This was the sporting event earmarked for physically challenged athletes in the Southeast Asian regional level. The ParaGames are held after every Southeast Asian Games (patterned after the Paralympics traditionally held days after the Olympic Games). Most of the events were held at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. Some new sports for the athletes were introduced and demonstrated by both foreign and local participants.

See also


External links

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