MANILA, Philippines – When it rains, it pours.
A hero’s welcome, a bounty worth in the tens of millions, a luxurious condo unit at posh Eastwood and a warm hug from her mother and her family await Hidilyn Diaz when she returns home following her breakthrough Tokyo Olympics gold medal performance Monday night.
TRACKER: Hidilyn at the Tokyo Olympics
Diaz is bound to receive cash incentives amounting to P35.5 million plus a house and lot in Tagaytay City and. And just Monday, a P14 million worth condo unit at Eastwood from Andrew Tan-led property developer Megaworld Corp. was allotted for Diaz for her golden feat.
The government via the Expanded Athletes Incentives Act (P10 million), the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation (MVPSF) and San Miguel Corp.’s Ramon Ang will give P10 million each while Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero pledged P3 million.
Zamboanga City has also passed a local law giving an additional P2.5 million to natives Diaz, who hails from Mampang, and boxer Eumir Marcial, who is from Lunzuran, for an Olympic gold.
“We’re proud her for giving Zamboanga and the Philippines our first Olympic gold medal,” said Zamboanga councilor and former national coach Elbert Atilano, who discovered Diaz more than two decades ago.
Apart from the ticker tape parade Zamboanga is expected to hold, Emelita, Diaz’s mother, will surely be there in the airport to personally welcome the country’s newest sporting hero.
“Sobra sobrang kaba, sobra ring masaya na hindi ko maintindihan yung nararamdaman,” said Emelita in an interview with ABS-CBN news. “Sobrang hirap din. More than one-year na ang COVID at hindi pa kami nagkita. Sa video call lang.”
More blessings are expected to come Diaz’s way.
But more than the rewards and the accolades, Diaz will go down in the history as the first Olympic gold medal winner the country has produced with an Olympic record to boot.