Alyssa Valdez, dubbed as the Queen of Philippine Volleyball, will be the country's flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) made the announcement on May 2. Valdez will lead the lineup of all-Pinay athletes appearing before the 60,000-seat Morodok Techo Stadium in Phnom Penh.
In a statement, POC President Bambol Tolentino said Valdez is the best choice for the role.
“Alyssa best fits our goal of an almost all-female delegation in the opening ceremony,” Tolentino said, adding that Valdez is not only the face of Philippine volleyball but also Philippine sports.
Valdez previously served as flag bearer in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
In a statement, Valdez expressed her honor and gratitude for being entrusted with a "big responsibility" once again.
“I share this with all the women in sports who brought honor and glory to the country," she said.
In the ceremony, 50 Filipina athletes will appear in the parade. They will be accompanied by only two men: Tolentino and Chef de Mission Chito Loyzaga.
Everybody will wear barong tagalog made by renowned fashion designer Francis Libiran.
This year's biennial meet will be held from May 5 to 17. Over 1,100 delegates will represent the Philippines, which finished fourth place in last year's Vietnam-hosted edition with 227 medals—52 golds, 70 silvers, 105 bronzes.