Hidilyn and her sisters
During the awarding of the 2016 The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service or TOWNS honorees, Hidilyn Diaz, still fresh from her silver-medal finish in the Rio Olympics, shouted to everyone present at the rites: “Gusto kong buhatin kayong lahat! (I want to lift all of you!)”It was no idle “threat” or empty boast. Hidilyn won her Rio medal for prevailing in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting division.
What’s more, her winning silver broke a 20-year drought for the Philippines in the Olympics, a feat she achieved as the first Filipina to score an Olympic medal. Truly outstanding!
Well, I won’t be surprised if Hidilyn stuns us once more with a medal from next year’s Tokyo Olympics. This is because she just won gold once more in the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, bringing the total medal haul for the Philippines to 75 as of Monday evening, including 39 gold, of which one is Hidilyn’s newly minted souvenir.
The lass from Zamboanga City lifted 91 kg in the snatch, and then 120 kg in the clean-and-jerk, a feat that sportswriters proclaimed as a “sensational performance.”But making Monday’s competition extra special for her, she told reporters, was that for the first time, her parents were present to personally witness her heroics.
After her TOWNS awarding, Hidilyn told reporters that in the world of sports, women are usually underestimated, but her performance in Rio “showed them that women are capable.”Of course, you did, Hidilyn! And despite all the hardships you encountered on the road to your latest gold, especially the lack of support from your own sports body, you did all of us Pinays, especially your TOWNS sisters, proud. We all promise we’ll try to lift you, if only in spirit, when next we
* * *
Women athletes likewise figured prominently among the competitors and winners in the SEA Games. Special mention goes to the triathlon team, composed of two men — John Chicano and Fernando Casares — and women Kim Mangrobang and Claire Adorna. The triathletes swept all the individual events, and then copped gold in the mixed relay event. A total shut-out of their competitors! Actually, I was most interested in the triathlon events because one of their coaches is likewise a sister in TOWNS, Ani de Leon Brown, herself a noted triathlete who’s brought honor to the country, who also happens to be the daughter of a good friend, Ana Leah Sarabia.
Still the list goes on. Our women athletes — some of them teens — shone in various events from judo to wushu, biking to women’s basketball 3×3, and in dancesports (since “woman is dance,” as a noted choreographer remarked). They all demonstrated for all of Southeast Asia and the world to see that we Pinays can combine strength, stamina, fortitude, grace and graciousness, not just to win athletic events but also to win in the grueling game called life. Mabuhay ang mga Pinay!
* * *
Here’s another “mabuhay” to a young woman who, from faraway New York, has been throwing shade at the President through a series of tweets, posts and memes.
I’m talking about Frankie Pangilinan, daughter of opposition senator Kiko Pangilinan and actress/singer Sharon Cuneta, now pursuing college studies in the Big Apple.
I can’t blame her for reacting the way she has to a remark made by President Duterte during a speech in ceremonies honoring “The Great Plebeian”Andres Bonifacio (therefore a most solemn and “official”event).
Apropos of nothing, the President referred to Senator Kiko, making mention of wrinkles in his marriage (Sharon supposedly wants to throw him out of their conjugal home, but he won’t leave because he supposedly has nowhere to go) and promising that if he (President Duterte) is proven to be lying, he will resign as President.
Well, what’s he still doing in Malacañang? Cuneta has publicly responded that her marriage is intact, and dear Frankie has taken the “old man in Malacañang” to task for trying to break up a family when he has more urgent and important matters to attend to. Since when has it been the job of the President to convey showbiz gossip? And why does he see fit to butt into a private matter? Given all the snafus surrounding the SEA Games, we didn’t need our President embarrassing us once more before the world.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.