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The 1981 Southeast Asian Games, officially known as the 11th Southeast Asian Games was a multi-sport event held in Manila, Philippines from 6 to 15 December 1981. This was the first time that the Philippines hosted the Games since its first participation in 1977. Philippines is the sixth nation to host the Southeast Asian Games after Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The event was officially opened by President Ferdinand Marcos and the cauldron was lit by Benjamin Silva-Netto. The colourful opening ceremony was held in the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. A new football stadium and indoor arena was built in Pasig named the University of Life Track & Field and Arena or the ULTRA, now called the PhilSports Arena. The adjacent apartments were used as the athlete's quarters and was converted into a BLISS housing project of First Lady Imelda Marcos. The final medal tally was led by Indonesia, followed by Thailand and host Philippines.

11th Southeast Asian Games
1981 sea games.png
Host cityManila, Philippines
Nations participating7
Opening ceremony6 December
Closing ceremony15 December
Officially opened byFerdinand Marcos
President of the Philippines
Torch lighterBenjamin Silva-Netto
Ceremony venueRizal Memorial Stadium
1979 1983  >


The gamesEdit

Participating nationsEdit

1Brunei was a British colony at that time. More than 2,200 athletes and officials participated in the Manila Games.


Medal tableEdit


  *   Host nation (Philippines)

  *   Host nation (Philippines)

1  Indonesia (INA)857356214
2  Thailand (THA)624541148
3  Philippines (PHI)*555577187
4  Malaysia (MAS)16273174
5  Burma (BIR)15192761
6  Singapore (SIN)12263371
7  Brunei (BRU)0000
Totals (7 nations)245245265755


  • Percy Seneviratne (1993) Golden Moments: the S.E.A Games 1959-1991 Dominie Press, Singapore ISBN 981-00-4597-2
  • History of the SEA Games

Preceded by
Jakarta, Indonesia
Southeast Asian Games Succeeded by