The 25th SEA Games fire off Wednesday with the Philippines favored to win its first gold medal in taekwondo.
After falling to 6th place in overall tally two years ago, the Filipinos are hoping to improve their standing despite the reduced number of sports and events.
From 41 sports in Thailand, this year's games feature 25 sports with the Filipinos seeing action in all but three disciplines.
They are expected to perform well in aquatics, athletics, taekwondo and boxing.
Gold medal forecasts vary with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) eyeing to surpass the 41-gold production two years ago in Thailand.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the government sports agency, sees a modest haul of 20 gold medals.
Despite the much publicized feud between the POC and the PSC, Filipino athletes are largely unaffected and go about their business of preparing for the difficult tasks ahead.
The Philippines has already won a silver medal in water polo and has been assured of two bronzes in sepak takraw.