KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA -- The Philippines received the South East Asian Games flame from 2017 host Malaysia in a handover ceremony on Thursday morning at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
At the helm of the Philippine delegation were Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) COO Ramon 'Tats' Suzara, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Celia Kiram, and Philippine Olympic Committee board member Cynthia Carrion-Norton.
The Malaysian delegation was led by Olympic committee president Norza Zakaria and the Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
The official mascot of the 2017 edition of the games, Rimau, also met his 2019 counterpart, Pami, as the pair brought the flame to the stage for the ceremony.
Despite a series of botched attempts to light the Philippines' gold lantern, the flame was formally passed on to the 2019 hosts.
With the games drawing closer, both delegations expressed their hopes for a successful hosting of the biennial meet.
"Despite all the challenges, issues, problems, the Philippines is ready," Suzara said.
"We hope all will go well, I heard that preparations are proceeding well," Rahaman said. "We look forward to forge better bonds and ties of relationship between Malaysia and the Philippines."
The flame will be brought to the Philippines, where it will be brought to various locations for torch run activities before being used to signal the start of the games in Bulacan on November 30.