Fabulous Phuket Photo Album Above
PHUKET: Phuket may have won 18 gold medals overall but the greatest performance at the Phuket Games 2012 came last night at the closing ceremony when the black clouds overhead filled and heaved but did not burst open . . . until the fireworks.
It was, officials figured as they anxiously glanced skywards, an amazing demonstration of the relationship Phuket seems to have with the bountiful Goddess of Rain.
She inflicts plenty of stormy weather at this time of the year. But to spare both the opening and closing Phuket Games ceremonies from a severe downpour until the fireworks last night . . . well, that was remarkable, especially by the standards of Phuket weather.
And the show that Phuket put on for the world, or at least for a national television audience, was impressive. There were dazzling yachts of light, a dragon breathing fire at the top of a set of stairs, marching bands, tuneful singing and glorious costumes.
It was the costumes that were perhaps the most dazzling. Dressed in blue tops and pink skirts, the young Phuket women carrying placards to announce each competing province looked even more enchanting as the wind lifted their skirts.
Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha and Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation President Paiboon Upatising played key roles in waving then handing over the flag of the National Youth Games to Maharasarakam province, which will stage the 29th event next year.
But it was the playing and the dancing that captured hearts and minds.
While Maharasarakam dancers and acrobats showed traditional skills, the Phuket performers demonstrated that Phuket is a different kind of province, with an international outlook and a character all its own.
The songs were good, and the costumes? Superb. The split-second timing provided Phuket with a showcase for the island's color, vibrancy and multi-talents.
Did we say split-second timing? Just as Pheu Thai Party spokesman and Phang Nga MP Phrompong Nopparit stepped forward to make an impromptu speech after the fireworks, the heavens opened up.
Khun Phrompong, a great advocate for Phuket and the Andaman coast, understands the weather patterns on Phuket better than most. He simply smiled and headed back to the shelter of the grandstand.