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This year, the Philippines once again hosted the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games comprising 11 nations, and now on its 30th run. The Philippine team emerged victorious among the rest of the competition with 149 gold medals, 118 silver, and 120 bronze medals. 

During the 12-day meet, many saw the ups and downs that transpired from even before the opening ceremonies on November 30 up until the glorious closing ceremonies on December 11 which made the biennial meet the biggest and most successful SEA Games yet.

But along with the hurdles, which thankfully we Filipinos as one united nation eventually overcame, there were also some great lessons we’ve picked up along the way!

Communication is essential 

As fast as social media can spread news like wildfire, terrible stories plagued organizers of the games early on prior to the start of the games. Several social media posts reported about flaws in accommodations, a lack of stately food and water that are expected of such world-class events, and transportation woes for athletes who were arriving in the country. These are just some of the things that floated around dividing Filipinos into political factions, naysayers, and trolls among others. 

Fortunately, organizers knew how to use communication in managing the brewing crisis early and called for unity instead of pointing fingers in what was ironically a major event that anchors itself on fostering camaraderie and sportsmanship among nations. In the end, the entire country was proud to have hosted the 30th SEA Games.  

Review facts before assuming your truth

While clearly there were a few cases of miscommunication, such challenges are not unheard of and are even considered minor flaws in a major sporting event like the SEA Games. Unfortunately for the country, social media has developed into a tool that can rapidly influence the public with malicious photos and unverified facts. Today, there are over 79 million Filipinos who use social media and no one was surprised in how the negative news broke out faster than the quickest runner can light the cauldron. 

From this, we can all learn that verifying facts first before making assumptions (especially on social media), is necessary to stir significant conversations instead of raising public panic and criticism. Read about what’s happening from credible news sources first and before you go online, talk about it with friends and family to get their own views of the situation. 

A nation united will always be a champion

Perhaps the most important thing we could learn from hosting the 30th SEA Games is that being united as a nation makes all of our champions. By using communication, research, and actual skills as a collective that aims for gold in every endeavor, who knows what greater things the Philippines can achieve in the future? 

The 30th SEA Games went on to be one of the most glorious events our neighboring countries have ever experienced and more importantly, it mirrors what Filipinos can truly achieve and contribute to the rest of the world.

We are an academy of champions!

There’s no greater honor than to carry your country’s colors in international events. While there’s no question that our athletes to the 30th SEA Games felt exactly the same way, two students from Learning Links Academy felt extra special to be chosen as representatives of the national men’s golf team.   

Grade-10 Sean Jean Ramos made the cut to the national team after beating four competitors for the last berth to the SEA Games with a 75 par during qualifiers held in June at the Luisita Golf and Country Club, Tarlac. Luis Miguel Castro who graduated last year also continues to make a name for himself in the realm of international men’s golf by leading the national team in the Indonesia Amateur Cup in August this year with a 10-under par 278 finish. 

From left: Sean Ramos , Aidric Chan, Carl Corpus, and Luis Castro

For the 30th SEA Games, both Sean and Luis were instrumental in ending a 10-year medal drought for the Philippines men’s golf team by winning the bronze medal. 

Fittingly, Learning Links Academy is proud to have helped shape discipline and resilience to both Sean and Luis and continues to emphasize the importance of teaching its students multifaceted aspects of learning while placing importance on a student’s individuality, interests, and passions.

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