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Total eclipse of the hurt

WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde (The Freeman) - November 5, 2020 - 12:00am

Pandemic aside, three Filipina athletes continue to shine in a world fearful of corona. At a university blue oval meet in the United States, Fil-Am sprinter Kristina Marie Knott clocked in at 11.27s in the 100 meter final to finish second. But her silver glittered like gold.

She ran faster by a hundredth of a second to rewrite Lydia de Vega’s three-decade old national and Southeast Asian record of 11.28s in the century dash. Slower than the 11.15s qualifying mark for the Olympiad, but worth a gold in the last Asiad.

Knott for long, Kristina should walk her Asian foes down in the next edition of the continental games twice dominated by De Vega in the 80s. At her peak age of a quarter century, Kristina has strong chances to qualify in Tokyo where she may be good enough for at least a quarterfinal berth in sprints.

Hidilyn Diaz is yet to book a place to Tokyo next year due to suspension of qualifying tournaments. But this year she beat 50 other strong women to the gold in the 59kg division of an online international weightlifting tournament. 

Recently, 15-year old Alex Eala made history in Philippine tennis after she reached the semi-final of the French Open junior division, to complete a girl power trivalry with Knott and Diaz for top accolades next year when the sports community rewards athletes who raised the flag for the country.

But sport is not the only venue to showcase the strength and character of a woman. Real life heroine Angel Locsin is most relevant. I don’t, or no one should, mind her weight gain, her flaming red heart is bigger. Perhaps why she is red tagged in her own country while the world honors her philanthropy. With her resonant humanitarian work, this angel on earth need not open her mouth to make a difference. Unlike others who did, only to speak nonsense, like calling a silent hardworking woman dumb, or trivializing a mother’s grief. Kids are excited each time ice cream changes flavor, but not when mocha is replaced, or added with mockers.

I’m not supposed to mention beauty queens. I reserve against pageantry for the way it defines beauty and how it unwittingly commodifies women. The word may not exist. Indulge me to coin it, respected editor, because it nails it. How two Filipinas captured the universe however awed me.

The defiant resolve of Pia Wurtzbach reminisces the never-say-die Ginebra mantra. Her presence of mind during crucial question hour won her the crown. It’s the stuff champions are made of, Michael Jordan once said. Catriona Gray lethally combined her intelligence with the right amount of confidence. Ask her anything and she satisfies the begging. Tag her red and people only remember her wearing red.

These excellent women brought to fore the best qualities of a true Filipina in the world arena. Pia and Catriona represented to the world, the universe rather, her grace and wisdom, Angel her compassion, Kristina her speed, Hidilyn her strength and Alex her youth and discipline. Combined, these awesome women unveiled the best version of the Filipina worldwide, until another woman showed the world, the universe included, how to abuse her domestic servant. Eclipsed.

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