A FEW days ago, we all gathered in Heritage Park to pay tribute to the fastest woman athlete of all time in our beloved country.

PSC Commissioner Bong Coo, Olympians Monsour del Rosario, Ralph del Rosario, Elma Muros-Posadas, and others from various sports associations.

If Mayor Mike Keon is still popular today, especially in the Ilocos Region, Lydia "Diay" de Vega made that happen too during the "Gintong Alay" days together with our friend Joey Romasanta, who was former PSC chairman then at that time. She was the wind that inspired our people during those days in the Asian and SEA Games together with Mona Sulaiman, Renato Unso, and company, just as our lifter Hidilyn Diaz is doing the same rare patriotic act today.

If I was still in Congress today, I'd probably propose that we open a new area in "Libingan ng mga Bayani" for our sports heroes who have served this country heroically.

They also deserve such an honor to remind our younger generation of our sports history, aside from museums or Halls of Fame. Another motivation for them to excel more is Inang Bayan. They deserve no less.

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Search for new heroes

We just came from the beautiful city of Tagbilaran, Bohol where we held our SMART SWP National Weightlifting Open Championships. Indeed, our search for new upcoming lifters bore fruit again with some SEA Games athletes upset by new determined challengers. We're grateful to Hidilyn and hubby coach Julius Naranjo for interrupting their honeymoon to inspire the young kids from all over the country with an exhibition of what an Olympic gold medalist looks like.

And kudos to Mayor Jane Yap and partner Baba together with Gov. Aris Eumentado for all their support in welcoming almost two hundred new aspiring lifters who are dreaming of making the national teams to the next SEA Games in Cambodia, Asian Games in China, and Olympic qualifying this December in Colombia.

Special thanks to our national and local coaches for motivating new determined kids to follow the footstep of Hidilyn for another Olympic gold. Watch us again in Paris 2024. And let God do the rest. Kaya natin ito.