Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 30, of the Philippines has expressed his opinion on the criticisms against his home country being criticized for its performance as the Southeast Asian Games 2019 host. Most of these critics are Filipinos, as noted by the former ONE Flyweight World Champion who is training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.
The 2019 SEA Games is the 30th edition of the biennial regional multi-sport event and it marks the fourth time it is hosted by the Philippines. It will take place in the country from November 30, 2019 to December 11, 2019.
Some SEA Games 2019 athletes not only from the Philippines but also from other participating countries complained about issues on accommodation and food. Many Filipinos took to social media to criticize the Philippine government for these issues.
“We are the host country,” Eustaquio said. “We are not helping by criticizing.”
For Eustaquio, there is no problem whether or not the Filipino athletes eat the best food and whether they sleep in a bed or on a mat. The Igorot mixed martial artist added that Filipinos are good at making the most of the meager things they have.
“Let us face the problem together,” Eustaquio suggested. “Once we’re done, then that’s the right time for your comments, suggestions and feelings. Let us take things the educated way.”
“Let me share you a true story,” the former ONE Flyweight World Champion continued. “I remember a group of athletes from the mountains who slept in an open basketball court with nothing, (not) even a blanket or a pillow to comfort them. After that night, they competed the next day yet they didn’t complain and managed to get the victory and now these athletes from the mountains conquered the world.”
Eustaquio was one of the three Team Lakay fighters who won at “ONE: Masters of Fate” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on November 8, 2019. He knocked out Toni “Dynamite” Tauru, 34, of Finland.
Several Team Lakay fighters are participating in the SEA Games 2019. Eustaquio’s fellow ONE Championship athlete Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 30, will represent the Philippines in kickboxing along with Jerry “The Bokodian Warrior” Olsim, 24, and Jean Claude Saclag, 25.
Team Lakay founder and head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, 40, is one of the coaches of the Philippine SEA Games 2019 kickboxing team. His proteges Islay Erika Bomogao, 19, and Alexis Badol Mayag-as, 18, will represent the Philippines in Muay Thai.
Meanwhile, here are Eustaquio, Sangiao and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, at the “ONE: Masters of Fate” post-fight press conference: