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Trivias about the 23rd Southeast Asian Games

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23rd SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES (SEAGAMES)

The 23rd SEAGAMES adopted the Philippine Eagle as its mascot. Named "Gilas", the Philippine eagle is one of the world's largest eagles, distinct for the majestic plumage on the top of its head. It is a symbol of strength and pride. As the 23rd SEA Games mascot, it aptly captures the winning spirit of all the participating athletes.

The Southeast Asian Games is the largest and most significant multi-sport event in the region and is held every two years to enable athletes to meet in friendly competition as well as to foster goodwill, friendship and solidarity, in alignment with the aims and aspirations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

SEAGAMES originated from the SEAP (South East Asian Peninsula) Games which was  inaugurated in Thailand in 1959, with just six participating countries:  Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It continued to be held biennially until the Philippines and Indonesia joined which were then, renamed SEAGAMES at its 9th meet in Malaysia in 1977. The name has been officially adopted and the Games have now become the most important sports event of the region. Membership to SEAGAMES has increased to ten with Cambodia being the latest to join.

Statistically, the 23rd SEAGAMES constitute the biggest sporting event in the region, next to the Asian Games. Being the most anticipated event in Southeast Asia, it will be hosted by the Philippines on November 27 - December 5, 2005.

For the third time, the "Pearl of the Orient Seas" is hosting the most significant bi-annually multi-sport event which is seen as an important collaborative step towards its closest neighbors.

This year's Games will feature 40 sports, 395 events with 7,000 expected athletes and officials from 11 competing countries. The Games are also considered as valuable opportunity for the athletes to gain competition experience and preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games. The Southeast Asian Games were purposely created to strengthen friendship, solidarity and understanding among neighboring countries in the region.