Press Release
September 8, 2021

Dela Rosa: Victory of Filipino athletes in Tokyo 2020 Olympics, victory of all Filipinos

SENATOR Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa and other members of the Upper Chamber on Monday commended the 4 Filipino medalists in the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Mindanaoan Senator expressed optimism that it will not be the last medal haul for the country and said that congratulating the victorious athletes means congratulating the entire Filipino people.

"As we found out in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, when people are true to the commitment to serve and not be served, they can change the course of history, for the better," Dela Rosa said in a manifestation during the awarding of the Senate Medal of Excellence to the successful athletes.

"It was our first time to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Our first time to win four medals in the Olympics. And with the help of people who have their hearts in the right place, it will certainly not be the last," he added.

"Let me extend our heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to our Olympic Medalists Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC)," the senator said.

Diaz won the gold medal in the women's 55 kg weightlifting, women's featherweight boxer Petecio and men's flyweight boxer Paalam each won silver, and men's middleweight boxer Marcial brought home a bronze.

"What makes these victories so special and sweet, Mr. President (Vicente Sotto III), is that whenever we commend our athletes, the POC and the PSC for a job well done, we are also, in fact, congratulating every single Filipino for helping to make it happen. With our taxes. With our prayers. With our love for sports, and most especially, our love for our country," he said.

The neophyte senator admired the medalists and the Filipino athletes for overcoming the challenges in sports and in their personal lives.

"Mahirap. Mahirap mangarap sa panahon ng pagsubok. Kung sa bisaya pa, Mr. President, dili gyud lalim. Ngunit, sa kabila ng lahat ng hirap, nakayanan ng mga Pilipinong atleta na mangarap at magtiwala na may liwanag sa dulo ng lagusang ito, sa tulong at suporta nating lahat na hindi nagsawang maniwala at manalangin para sa kanila," he said.

Dela Rosa said Diaz knew what it is like to come home with very little food, Petecio at a young age learned from her parents not to give up in spite of poverty, Paalam succeeded despite doubts if he could win any medal, and Marcial started his fight through life at an early age of 7 in order to help his family.

"I am proud to say that Nesthy and I share a lot in common. We both come from our humble birthplace, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. Both of us worked our way from poverty into victory, for our loved ones and our country... The common denominator between us, with Nesthy is that dadaan kami ng isang sementeryo sa tuwing papasok sa eskwelahan. At tuwing pauwi na ng hapon, kasi yung perang pamasahe ay binili ko ng banana cue, wala na akong pamasahe, so, I had to walk my way back home. The same na ginagawa ni Nesthy 'pag papasok sya sa Tuban Elementary School," Dela Rosa said.

Borrowing POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino's "we're here to serve, not to be served" words as quoted in a news article, Dela Rosa said, "We are here to serve, not to be served. It still amazes me how much change can be brought forth when a person, or better yet, an entire nation, would dare take those words seriously and act on them."

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