HOUSE leaders led by Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez congratulated Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who won the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics, prompting them to prepare a hero’s welcome for her.
Romualdez, chairman of the House committee on rules, said the historic victory of Diaz has made her a national treasure after she won the elusive first gold medal for the country since the Philippines first competed in the Olympics in 1924.
“Hidilyn Diaz is now a national treasure. Her name will be immortalized as the first Filipino to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Hidilyn’s victory showcased the spirit of the Filipino to persevere against all odds. She displayed the grit and determination that our nation need right now to be able to succeed in the global fight against COVID-19,” said Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD)
“We offer our prayers that Hidilyn and other Filipino Olympians now in Tokyo be safe and free from harm as they embark on the perilous mission of getting medals of glory in the age of pandemic. More than the gold, silver or bronze, their safety is our paramount concern. Godspeed, our dear Olympians. May you continue to inspire us all in bringing out the best in service to our people,” stressed Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) or the oldest and most respectable association of legal luminaries in the country.
Zamboanga City Rep. Mannix Dalipe said his kababayan Diaz who hails from his district, has made all Filipinos proud with her achievement.
“Enhorabuena (congratulations) to our constituent and now Olympic Gold Medalist Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory not just to the city of Zamboanga, but to the whole country. You made history and we are super proud of you! Muchisimas gracias for your hard work in bringing home our first ever Olympic gold medal! Mabuhay ang atletang Pinoy!” Dalipe, a stalwart of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said: “Our heartfelt congratulations to Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz for her historic gold win in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Thank you for claiming the country’s first Olympic gold medal. You have made all of us proud!”
Deputy Speaker and sports patron Mikee Romero said he would deliver on his commitment to reward the first Filipino gold medalist in the Tokyo Olympics with P3 million.
“I will be handing the money to our champion weightlifter, Hidilyn Diaz, who won the gold in Tokyo on Monday. It’s an expression of our appreciation for the pride and honor she has brought the country, and her sacrifices amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which made her victory doubly hard to achieve,” he said.
Romero said he would be giving the money to Diaz as soon as she returns to Manila.
He added that the reward would be in addition to the P10-million cash incentive she is entitled to under Republic Act (RA) No. 10699, which expanded the benefits of national athletes and their coaches.
She will also receive an Olympic Gold Medal of Valor from the Philippine Sports Commission, he said.
He noted that businessmen Ramon Ang and Manny Pangilinan have promised a combined P20 million to gold medalists in Tokyo.
Romero said RA 10699 also entitles Hidilyn Diaz’s coaches to a P5-million incentive.
Under the law, a silver medalist gets P5 million, while a bronze winner receives P2 million, he said.
Romero earlier predicted that Diaz and other bemedaled Filipino athletes, including champion golfer Yuka Saso, had great chances of winning gold in Tokyo.
Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said: “Makasaysayan at hindi malilimutan ang pagkapanalong ito ni Hidilyn. Proud at masaya ako sapagkat sa gitna ng pandemya at paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan ay mayroong ganitong balita na tiyak na magdadala ng ngiti sa bawat Pilipino. Salamat Hidilyn, binuhat mo sa iyong balikat ang buong sambayanan Pilipino! Isa kang maituturing na bayani sa larangan ng isports. Mabuhay ang mga kababaihan!”
Ang Probinsiyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong said: “The Olympic victory of Hidilyn Diaz should further motivate our young to be in sports and live a healthy life. It should also inspire our sports policy makers to work harder in developing athletes who could one day bring us more Olympic gold.
Congratulations Hidilyn! You are true Filipino hero!”
PRIDE OF MINDANAO
A resolution is being prepared for filing by Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman and Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan paying tribute to Diaz’s historic feat for being the “the Pride of Mindanao, the Pride of the Philippines,” claiming that her Olympic victory is a shining inspiration to every Filipino that perseverance and hard work indeed pay off.
“Congratulations to our fellow Mindanaoan Hidilyn Diaz who hails from Zamboanga City! Isa kang inspirasyon sa kapwa mo Pilipino, lalo na sa mga taga-Mindanao, na nangangarap makarating kung nasaan ka ngayon. Hindi lang ginto ang ibinigay mo sa Pilipinas, kundi inspirasyon sa aming lahat!” said Hataman.
“Alam naming naging mahirap ang iyong paglalakbay, pero nakita din namin na hindi ka sumuko. Lalo ka pang lumaban sa harap ng matitinding unos at hamon. At dahil diyan, IDOL ka naming lahat,” he added.
Sangcopan pointed out Diaz’s humble beginnings, as the youngest of six siblings growing up in a poor family in Zamboanga City.
“As a fellow Mindanaoan who also grew up in Zamboanga City, my heart is now overflowing with pride because of Hidilyn’s extraordinary accomplishment,” Sangcopan said.
“She persevered and did not let poverty stop her from pursuing her dreams. Many would have given up, but she continued on, focusing on what was important. Now, she is on top of the world,” she added.
The two lawmakers are set to file the resolution on Tuesday, a day after Diaz won the country’s first ever gold medal in its long history in the Olympics since it joined almost a hundred years ago in 1924. Diaz bested China’s Liao Qiuyun in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event in a very emotional win for the Philippines.
“Kasama mo ang buong bansa sa pag-iyak sa kasiyahan ng iyong tagumpay. At habang tinutugtog ang Lupang Hinirang sa saliw ng iyong pagkapanalo, at nakikita naming dumadaloy ang iyong luha, sa aming paningin ay isa kang Pilipinong karapat-dapat na ikarangal,” Hataman said.
“Dalangin namin ay maging simbolo ka ng pag-asa, hindi lang para sa mga tulad mong atleta, pati na rin para sa mga kababayan mong naghahanap ng panalo sa gitna ng pandemya,” he said.
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento said: “Congratulations Hidilyn Diaz for showing the to whole world the grit, the perseverance and the power of Filipino women. Your mental toughness and your determination to finally give our country its first Olympic Gold has finally paid off. For now, enjoy the fruits of your victory but I really hope that you would press on in your quest to give pride and glory to all Filipinos. Mabuhay ka!”
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Jericho “Koko” Nograles said: “The Olympic gold victory of Hidilyn Diaz is incontrovertible proof that the Filipino can. This is a product of Hidilyn’s passion, and the hard work of her team. From trainers to conditioning coaches past and present, from blood and Philippine Air Force families to all friends and supporters, this victory is won by everyone who helped. Let this victory be a lesson to all our children that only together can we achieve the greatest heights.
Congratulations Team Hidilyn Diaz!”
Senators were also elated with Diaz’s feat.
“Mabuhay siya! Nilampasan pa niya ang achievement niyang silver sa Rio. Nakaukit ang pangalan niya sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas dahil sa kauna unahang gold medal ?? ng bansa. Congrats sa kanya, sa coaches niya, mga taga Zamboanga, at sa buong bansa na binigyan niya ng rason mag celebrate at matuwa at magkaisa!” Angara said.
As the author and sponsor of Republic Act 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, Angara said Diaz and her coaches will receive cash rewards for winning gold in Tokyo.
For Diaz, Angara said she will receive P10 million and an Olympic Gold Medal of Valor to be issued by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Her coaches, on the other hand, will receive the equivalent to fifty percent of the cash incentives for gold medalists or P5 million. In case of more than one coach, the law states that the cash incentives shall be divided among themselves.
“The entire nation celebrates with Hidilyn for bringing home the elusive gold medal in the Olympics. This comes at a time when we are all longing for some good news. Salamat Hidilyn at pinakita mo sa buong mundo ang galing ng Pinoy!” Angara said.
Senator Pia Cayetano thanked Diaz, for lifting the pride and honor of the entire Filipino nation, literally, on her shoulders.
“When you burst into tears as the Philippine flag was being raised, millions of Filipinos wept with joy with you. The national anthem never sounded so sweet! Mabuhay ka, and congratulations also to your crew of coaches, trainers, and the people you relied upon every day,” Cayetano said.
Senate Committee on Sports chairman Bong Go, meanwhile said seeing the Philippine flag flying high inspires the Filipinos further to overcome the challenges and rise triumphant amid the crises we are facing.
“As chair of the Senate Committee on Sports and on behalf of the Filipino people, thank you for giving us hope and bringing pride once more to our beloved country,” Go said.
“Thank you, Hidilyn, for making your country proud and lifting the Filipino spirits to new heights,” Senator Grace Poe stressed.
For Senator Joel Villanueva, Diaz etched her name in the country’s sporting history after ending the Olympic gold medal drought, and set a new Olympic record.
“Lupang Hinirang is played on the world stage once more, and we cannot help but beam with pride,” Villanueva said.
“Literal na binuhat ni Hidilyn Diaz ang sambayanang Pilipino ngayong gabi, sa bigat na 127kgs. Sa isang iglap, napawi ang matagal na uhaw ng ating bayan sa mailap na Olympic Gold Medal,” he added.
For his part, Senator Panfilo Lacson said more than making history for bringing the Philippines its first Olympic Gold Medal, weightlifter Diaz has brought national honor, national pride, and good news to the Philippines at a time the Filipinos need them most.
“And more than lifting the nation on her shoulders and beating a field that included China’s pride, Hidilyn has become a unifying and rallying point for us Filipinos, to carry the weight of the humongous problems we face,” Lacson said. With Marlon Purification