The organizing committee of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games released a graphic to once again explain the meaning of the biennial multi-sport event’s logo that was previously criticized.
In their Facebook page, the committee said that the 11 rings represent the 11 participating countries in Southeast Asia.
When combined to form a shape of the Philippines, the logo “embodies ideas of unity and togetherness.”
Countries participating in the event are the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
Filipinos on social media users remained unconvinced of its design.
“We know the rings represent bad design,” user Rye Gaba-Del Carmen commented.
“How about the sizing of the rings? What was the thought process behind that?” user Chris Costell said.
“Trying to justify a bad design by pretending it has a deep meaning? Circles look like zeroes, as in zero creativity invested into it,” YanYan Fulgencio-Baluca wrote.
How the logo was criticized before
When Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Chair Alan Peter Cayetano proposed the logo in August 2018, social media users expressed their disappointment and went on to conceptualize their own versions.
Different interpretations were made, including a socio-political one and another that featured an eagle with colors of the Philippine flag.
Cayetano defended the logo made out of circles, saying, “Our logo will be the 11 circles representing the 11 countries bound together in the shape of the Philippines to symbolize that wherever and whenever the games are played, we are one and we win as one.”
The slogan of the 2019 SEA Games is “Manalo tayo bilang isa” or “We win as one.”
He also shared that it was only a “work in progress” at that time.
“We wanted something that shows that para sa atin lahat to but at the same time, alam mong Pilipinas. That’s why the eleven circles forming the country but you won’t see that ‘yun lang nakaganoon,” Cayetano shared.
“You will see it applied with different colors, with different backgrounds, with different merchandising items,” he added.
When the logo was finally constructed in the venue, however, Filipinos continued to express their disdain since the committee went with the initially proposed design.
The event’s mascot, “Pami,” did not escape criticisms as well. It was designed after the 2019 SEA Games logo, in which conjoined balls of different colors were created to form a stuffed figure with a smiling face.
Some claimed that other appropriate symbols such as a tarsier or a tamaraw could be better.
The 2019 SEA Games will be held in different venues within areas of Clark in Pampanga, Subic Bay in Zambales and in Metro Manila from November 30 to December 11, 2019.
It is expected to be the “biggest” in the history of the biennial sports event, where 9,840 athletes would participate in sports and various events.