HIDILYN Diaz is glad she was joined by fellow female athletes in flying the flag for the Philippines in the Asian Games.
Silver medalist in the Rio Olympics, Diaz reigned supreme in the continental meet, bagging gold in Indonesia in the women’s 53kg division in weightlifting.
That was followed by double gold in golf with Yuka Saso topping the individual competition and Bianca Pagdanganan, who also bagged individual bronze, helping deliver the team title with Lois Kaye Go.
Margie Didal made it four gold medals for the country by topping the skateboard street event, assuring the Philippines of its best finish in the Asiad in 12 years.
“Women empowerment, babae na ngayon ang nagdadala,” said Diaz, who noted that other Filipinas should also be lauded for their performances in these games.
Pauline Lopez bagged taekwondo bronze, Agatha Wong earned a medal of the same color in wushu, while the poomsae team of Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Rinna Babanto and Janna Dominique Oliva also earned a podium finish.
Cherry May Regalado bagged a pencak silat bronze, Junna Tsukii also had bronze in karate, while Meggie Ochoa captured a bronze medal in ju-jitsu after beating compatriot Kaila Napolis.
Diaz said the performances should remind everyone of women power, as she recalled the time she was being dissuaded by people around her from going into the sport of weightlifting.
“Iba yung tingin sa mga babae. Kahit sa akin nung nag-start pa lang ako, sinasabi sa akin, ‘Huwag ka diyan, sa bahay ka lang,’ huwag ka diyan, magiging macho ka,’” she
All that has changed since then.
“Nabago na yun,” said the proud daughter of Zamboanga City. “Palakasan ito at naipakita natin na kaya talaga naming mga babae.
“Kaya pala ng mga babae and we’re proud na babae kami.”
Go noted Filipina athletes are not only representing the country but women in sports.
“I felt like it’s our time right now. Around the world, women are empowering the world and it’s really nice to see these ladies get the gold medals for the Philippines,” said Go.
“They’re definitely talented players and it just means the world to us that we’re able to represent not only the Philippines, but also women in general in sports, in the world, and in life. And it shows how much women can do,” she added.