Alyssa Valdez is set to lead an all-female Filipino team at the opening ceremony of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games on Friday, May 5.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino made this announcement on Tuesday, May 2.
Tolentino described Valdez as the “face of Philippine sports.”
“Alyssa best fits our goal of an almost all-female delegation in the opening ceremony. She’s not only the face of Philippine volleyball, but Philippine sports as well,” the POC executive said.
In a statement, Valdez said that is “an honor” to be chosen as the official flag bearer of the Philippines for the second time.
“It’s such an honor to be the flag bearer for this year’s SEA games. It’s a big responsibility but I’m grateful for the trust given to me once again,” she was quoted as saying in a report.
The volleyball star was also the flag bearer during the SEA Games in Singapore in 2015.
Valdez described her experience back then as “unforgettable.”
“I first had the opportunity to carry our Philippine flag in 2015 in Singapore and it was an unforgettable experience,” she said.
Earlier, the POC also unveiled that Team Philippines who will join the traditional parade of nations at the regional tournament are all women.
A total of 50 female athletes are selected to participate in the event.
In a statement, Tolentino said that this will be the first time that Team Philippines is represented by an all-female group.
“This will be a first in SEA Games history as Team Philippines will be represented by an all-women delegation in the parade,” he said.
Moreover, these athletes will also be wearing a barong designed by Francis Libiran.
The outfit called “Araw Barong Tagalog” is made of Philippine jusi fabric with delicate embroidery of the Philippine flag.
The opening ceremony of the 32nd SEA Games will take place at the Morodok Techo Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 5.
Several Filipinos showered the country’s team with supportive messages on social media.
Others also congratulated Valdez for being tapped to bear the Philippine flag anew.
“The PHENOM at Phnom Penh!!! Go Philippines!” a fan commented on Facebook.
“Wow! So proud of you Phenom Alyssa Valdez!” another fan said on Twitter.
Valdez has a stellar career as a student-athlete of Ateneo Lady Eagles. She extended her achievements after joining the Creamline Cool Smashers under the Premier Volleyball League.
These achievements earned her the label “The Phenom” or “Queen of Volleyball” because of her skills, talent and passion for the sport.