The Philippines is hosting the 3rd ASEAN Para Games, a biennial
multi-sports championship for the differently abled on December
1421, 2005 with over 1,200 athletes from eleven (11) countries
seeing action. It follows the Southeast Asian Games and is hosted by
the same country where the SEA Games take place.
The Southeast Asian version of the Paralympics started in 2001 in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. Vietnam hosted the second meet of the games. The
event expands this year to an ambitious bid to reach a wider
audience and match popularity of mainstream sports events such as
the SEA Games.
Chaired by Michael Barredo, President of the International Blind Sports
Federation, the Philippines ASEAN Para Games Organizing Committee
included five (5) more sports disciplines in the calendar,
increasing the total number of regular sports to ten (10) and
possibly adding four (4) more as demonstration events.
Over six hundred (600) gold medals are at stake in the tournament that will
feature the exploits of top athletes who are visually impaired,
orthopedically handicapped, intellectually disabled and those with
An international Paralympics Committee sanctioned event, the ASEAN Para
Games is being held the same year as the SEA Games. Other
participating countries are Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei,
Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Singapore, East Timor and Vietnam.
The 3rd ASEAN Para Games has adopted the whale shark (Rhicondon
typus) as its mascot. Affectionately named "Buboy Butanding", it is
considered the largest fish in the world. This gentle giant is found
to be playful by those who encounter it, visits the Philippine
waters between the months of November to May and is a protected
specie. As the 3rd ASEAN Para Games mascot, "Buboy Butanding"
embodies gentleness and determination.