Press Release
November 29, 2022

Senate adopts resolutions to commend athletes

The Senate adopted Tuesday, November 29, 2022 several resolutions commending and congratulating Filipino athletes who have given honor and pride to the country through victorious feats in various international competitions.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva sponsored several Senate resolutions congratulating and commending chess prodigy Rafael Operiano for winning the 6th Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship in Bangkok, Thailand; Aleia Aielle Aguilar for her outstanding performance at the Abu Dhabi world Jiu-jitsu Championships; and Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno for an outstanding performance at the Asian Seniors Championships.

Senate Resolution Nos. (SRN) 285 and 293 lauded the 8-year-old chess prodigy Operiano who emerged as the champion during the 6th Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 12, 2022.

Operiano was chosen to compete and represent the Philippines in the 9-day international tournament after winning the Boys Under 9 category of the National Youth and Schools Chess Championships Grand Finals held last September 16 to 23, 2022 in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

The chess prodigy's skills were discovered when he was only six years old after winning the National Age Chess Group Championship-Kiddie Category held in Albay.

"Operiano's victory in the international tournament is a testament to the exceptional talent and global excellence in sports of young Filipino athletes. This chess prodigy's outstanding performance has brought immense pride and inspiration to the Filipino people, and thus merits honor and recognition," Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, SRNs 286, 294, and 318 recognized and congratulated Aguilar for her outstanding performance at the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championships on November 13, 2022. The 5-year-old Aguilar became the Philippines' youngest world champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu after conquering the Kids 1 under 16 kg event.

Aguilar won the gold medal after defeating Gabriela Vercosa of Brazil in the final match at the Jiu-jitsu Arena, Abu ñ Arab Emirates (UAE).

Aguilar is the daughter of Maybelline Masuda, the first Filipino Jiu-jitsu world champion in 2009 and a gold medalist at the 2014 Asian Beach Games and Alvin Aguilar, a gold medalist at the Asian Jiu-Jitsu. "Aguilar's victory is a testament that Jiu-Jitsu runs in the family and her becoming the youngest Jiu-Jitsu world champion brings pride and honor to the Philippines," Villanueva said.

Furthermore, SRNs 287 and 295 recognized and congratulated Nepomuceno for his outstanding performance. The Filipino bowler and coach added another medal to his long list of feats by taking home the gold medal at the Asian Seniors Championships held recently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 12, 2022.

The 65-year-old from Quezon City scored an impressive 1264 points as he topped the men's singles 65 and up competition. Japan's Akira Nakada and Korea's Jin Headong placed second and third, respectively.

Nepomuceno, widely considered one of the greatest international bowlers of all time, is a 6-time world champion. He has been honored by the Guinness World Records four times for being the youngest tenpin bowling world champion (19 years old at the 1976 Bowling World Cup), for most wins of the tenpin bowling world cup (1976, 1980, 1992, and 1996), and twice for the most tenpin bowling titles, the last at 133 (he broke his own record of 118 titles which was first established in 2007)

"Nepomuceno's talent, discipline, sportsmanship, and longevity continue to be a source of pride for the country and proves why he is a living legend in the sport of bowling and one of the greatest Filipino athletes of all time," Villanueva said.

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