January 16 - More than 500 guests representing the 45 member nations of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), as well as the wider sporting world, are arriving here today ahead of the General Assembly and special celebrations to mark 100 years of Asian sport.
Although the event, initially scheduled for last November, was put back two months and moved from its original location of Baracay Island due to the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan, it is especially poignant that it will now be held in the Philippine capital because the inaugural Asian multi-sport competition - the Far Eastern Games - was held here a century ago.
In 1913 the finest athletes from China, Japan and Philippines competed over 11 events, including pentathlon, decathlon and marathon, in a competition which has since grown into the more familiar Asian Games, due to be held for the 17th time in Incheon in September.
After an Executive Committee meeting tomorrow, OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah will join members of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), as well as from the OCA, to mark the sporting century ahead of the General Assembly getting underway the following morning.
It is understood that neither Thomas Bach nor his Presidential predecessor Jacques Rogge is able to attend, although both were invited, but among those making the trip include IOC vice-president, and Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission head, John Coates, and one of the men Bach beat to become IOC President, Ukraine's pole vault legend Sergey Bubka.
The Asian members will join the Sheikh, also an IOC member and President of ANOC, at the 32nd OCA General Assembly on Saturday (January 18) where future continental events, including the Asian Games and the Asian Beach Games, are expected to lead the agenda.
Updates on the IOC's Olympic Solidarity Movement, the World Anti-Doping Agency and its new code as well as the progress of the build-up for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will also be up for discussion.
The event comes at an interesting time for sport in the world's largest continent given the fact that the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing this summer and both the Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will all be held on Asian soil.
But the event also comes at an important time for the Philippines as it seeks to gain exposure and support following the 6,000 deaths and untold damage to infrastructure and supplies brought about by Typhoon Haiyan.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Jose "Peping" Cojuangco is leading the welcoming party with daughter Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, the 2002 Asian Games equestrian champion who was elected as an IOC member last year.
"Oftentimes I hear delegates from other countries asking what it is like to invest in the Philippines," said Cojuangco, emphasising the importance of keeping the event on Philippine soil.
"Tourism and business investment-wise, this is a big opportunity for the Philippines.
"Let us not limit this event to just sports - this is for the country.
"This is a chance to display the resiliency of the Philippine people that despite what happened we are able to host."
As an example of this significance the Sheikh met with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on arrival here yesterday where it is thought that ways of helping the country in its recovery, as well as in a sporting sense, will have been discussed.
January 2014: For a century Asian sport has been a shining beacon for unity and progress
January 2014: Holding General Assembly in Manila shows "unity, solidarity and support" for Philippines, claims OCA President
December 2013: Postponed Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly rescheduled for Manila
November 2013: OCA General Assembly in Philippines postponed due to devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan