THE Philippine chess team is set to leave for the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in a trip that will take the players about 36 hours to reach Norway.
That the team will be taking on the world's finest woodpushers without its best player, world No. 12 Wesley So, who is now the assistant coach of the US team, is the least of the concerns.
The fact that Eugene Torre and Co. took on this mission despite a serious terror allert issued by the Norwegian Police Security Service over "an imminent threat from Islamic militants in Syria" should be of greater concern.
Asked if they feared for their lives, Torre, Asia's first grandmaster who now holds the distinction of playing in the most number of Olympiads at 22, seemed oblivious to the danger.
"Ang importante makarating kami ng maayos at makapagpahinga bago kami mapasabak sa laban," Torre, also the coach of the team, said.
The ageless Torre's attitude epitomizes the breed of Filipino athletes who consider it an honor to serve flag and country, no matter the risk, and seek nothing in return.
Truly a commendable move by our chess masters. #TunayNaPuso!