Press Release
August 16, 2022

Senate adopts resolution honoring Asia's fastest woman Lydia de Vega

The Senate adopted on Monday, August 15, 2022, a resolution expressing its profound sympathy and sincere condolences to the family of Philippine sports legend and "Asia's fastest woman" Lydia de Vega-Mercado.

Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 127 (adopted Resolution No. 10) introduced by Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. was unanimously adopted by the Senate, taking into consideration SRNs 129, 130, 131, 132, 135, 137, 138 and 140 honoring De Vega-Mercado who succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 57 last August 10. Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, sponsor of the resolution, described De Vega-Mercado as a woman of pride, prowess, persistence and faith who chose the longest path of being an athlete and a public servant.

"Let us learn from Ma'am Lydia de Vega-Mercado that life isn't measured by meters or kilometers but by the number of finish lines we have overcome trying to make a difference in this World," Villanueva added.

The resolution praised De Vega-Mercado for being the first Filipina and Asian to win back-to-back gold medals for the 100-meter dash at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, India, and in Seoul, South Korea in 1986. She also represented the Philippines twice in the Olympics- 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She firmly cemented herself as the best in the track-and-field arena in Asia after consistently winning gold in the 100 meters at the 1987, 1991, and 1993 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games while also winning the 200-meter event in 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1993 of the meet.

"Truly the best in the field, she held the 100-meter and 200-meter national records for over three decades," the resolution stated.

Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, in his co-sponsorship speech, also expressed his admiration for the late sports legend who put the Philippines on the world map as Asia's fastest woman.

Estrada said De Vega-Mercado served as an inspiration to Filipino athletes and lifted the level of women in Philippine sports.

"She is considered a national treasure and one of the greatest athletes the country has ever produced. Rest well, you fought a good fight. Rest well, Lydia De Vega," Estrada said.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Committee on Sports, also joined his colleagues in expressing his condolences for the demise of De Vega-Mercado whom he considered as one of the pillars of Philippine sports.

"Lydia may have run her final lap on this lifetime, but she will always be remembered as one of the most decorated and adored athletes of our country," Go added.

Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros for her part said De Vega-Mercado's excellence on the track has encouraged women and girls to seek greatness in their own pursuits. "Her victories earned her the well-deserved title as Asia's fastest woman and have inspired a generation of athletes. May we remember and embody the values that propelled Lydia De Vega to her place in our history, discipline, perseverance and tenacity," Hontiveros said as she asked to be a co-sponsor of the resolution.

Villanueva also moved that all senators be made co-authors of the resolution.

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