AFTER his gold-medal performance in the last Universiade in Russia, Filipino grandmaster Wesley So finally received a commendation - from an official of another country.
Toronto Senator Tobias Enverga, a Fil-Canadian who traces his roots to Quezon province, honored So with a commendation for "bringing pride to Filipinos all over the world."
Enverga even played a few minutes of chess with the Bacoor, Cavite whiz kid.
“It gives me great pleasure to give recognition to Grandmaster Wesley So for winning the Philippines’ first gold medal (men’s chess) at the 27th Summer Universiade,” Enverga said.
“You have brought great pride to the Philippines and to Filipinos all over the world,” he added.
David Ong, president of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap), said: “Iba talaga yung ginawa na feat ni Wesley. Kasi isipin mo sport ng Russians, tapos tinalo niya. Sa final pa ha.
“Natutuwa kami kasi kahit mga officials ng ibang bansa, naa-appreciate yung nagagawa ni Wesley para sa ating bayan,” he added.
The Philippine Sports Commission is still mum on the issue of the woodpusher’s incentives.
PSC chairman Richie Garcia said the government agency is still reviewing if the Universiade is one of the multi-sport events where a gold medal by a Filipino athlete merits a government incentive.
“Tignan natin ito ngayon kung qualified ang Universiade. Kung qualified hindi naman natin haharangin yun. We will recommend an incentive,” he added.
Ong believes giving accolades to deserving athletes should be done without any reservations.
“Hindi na dapat pinag-iisipan at tinitimbang ang ganun kasi para sa bayan naman yung naging kabayanihan ni Wesley,” said Ong.