Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, it is my honor to co-sponsor and join our colleagues here in the Senate for the adoption of the Resolution to recognize and congratulate Philippines’ gold medal winners and other athletes for their performance in the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia.
Where it is not uncommon for us to hear of young people who readily succumb to despair because of lack of hope, purpose, and dignity – Filipino athletes who showcased their sporting talents in Asiad, especially our gold medal winners, exemplify the nobility and limitless capacity of the Filipino spirit – resilient and transcendent:
1. Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz of Weightlifting;
2. Gold medalists Yuka Saso, Lois Kaye Go, and Bianca Pagdanganan of Golf;
3. Gold medalist Margielyn Didal of Skateboarding;
4. Silver medalist Rogen Ladon of Boxing; and
5. Bronze medalist Cherry May Regalado of Pencak Silat
Nakakatuwa po Ginoong Pangulo na masabi rin sa bulwagang ito na si Rogen Ladon at si Cherry May Regalado ay aking mga kapatid sa pananampalataya sa JIL Church sa Marilao, Bulacan at si Cherry May naman mula sa JIL Aklan.
Hindi po maikakailang marami tayong kababayang dahil sa kahirapan o mga suliraning karugtong ng kanilang sikmura at buhay, ang madaling mawalan ng pag-asa at maakit sa korapsyon, kriminalidad o adiksyon.
But in the midst of all these seeming hopelessness, Filipino medalists, most especially 19 year-old Margie Didal, are among the many desperately needed beacons of hope for our people.
Last week, I was approached by Margie and asked for prayers. Perhaps, we all have heard enough of her life’s story – the odds and struggles that she had to surmount just to emerge triumphant. We all have heard of the material lack that she and her family has been struggling with, as her career was in its budding stages; we all have heard enough of the lack of support that Margie had to weather and endure while she was starting.
Laki po sa mga kalye ng Cebu at pinalaki ng kanyang mga magulang na iginagapang ang kanilang pang-araw-araw sa pagkakarpintero at pagbebenta sa mga bangketa.
Yet, Mr. President, in the midst of all these, she emerged triumphant. Like Hidilyn, Yuka, Bianca, Lois Kaye, Rogen Ladon and Cherry May Regalado – who experienced their own challenges, Margie also weathered and endured everything – evidence to the resilience of the Filipino spirit.
But that is not all. The odds, struggles and difficulties that she had to surmount so that she could emerge triumphant is evidence as well of the limitless capacity of the Filipino for transcendence. Indeed, there is no amount, no depth or height or quantity of odds, difficulties or predicaments that the Filipino soul cannot conquer and transcend.
As Filipino medalists and all our athelets in Asian Games conquered and went beyond everything just to attain their destiny, so also the Filipinos’ collective spirit can go beyond all sorts of hindrances just to realize and attain their noble destiny as a people.
It is in this that we see how these young individuals serve as a symbol, a realization, and an embodiment of the Filipino’s resilient and transcendent characters.
Let’s harness to restore these two values or virtues – resilience and transcendence to realize the greatness of the Filipino nation.
Muli, kinikilala po natin ang tagumpay ng ating mga atleta sa 2018 Asian Games – ang mga kabataang nagpapakilala ng kaibuturan ng isang Pilipino: matatag at kayang mangibabaw sa anumang pagsubok sa buhay at bansa.
Maraming salamat po and may God bless us all.