THE New Clark City Sports Complex in Tarlac will house the Philippine Olympian Memorial which serves as fitting and permanent commemoration of the sacrifices rendered by Filipino athletes to represent the country in the Olympiad.
House Bill 10096, otherwise known as the Philippine Olympian Memorial Act, has been filed in Congress by Deputy Speaker Eric Martinez of the 2nd district of Valenzuela City.
Martinez said the memorial will not only cover the 12 Filipinos responsible who bagged Olympic medals but all athletes who represented the country in the quadrennial event since 1924 when lone representative David Nepomuceno competed in the Paris Games.
Hidilyn Diaz delivered the first gold medal for the Philippines five years after bagging silver. Boxer Anthony Villanueva was first to bag a silver for the country, in the 1964 Tokyo Games, followed by Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco in Atlanta 1996, Diaz, and boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam in Tokyo 2021.
Swimmer Teoflo Yldefonso clinched bronze in Amsterdam 1928 and again in LA 1932, where high jumper Simeon Toribio and boxer Jose Villanueva also claimed bronze medals.
Miguel White ended up with a bronze in athletics in Berlin 1936, while boxers Leopoldo Serantes in Seoul 1988, Roel Velasco in Barcelona 1992 and Eumir Marcial in 2021 also came away with bronze medals.
“Naisip ko itong Olympian Memorial Act na ito to immortalize and memorialize not only the Fab 12 na medalist natin sa Olympics. But we will honor all those Olympians since 1924 in David Nepomuceno’s time up to this batch of Tokyo Olympics of 2020,” said Martinez in Tuesday’s webcast edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
“We should never forget Lydia De Vega. We should never forget Caloy Loyzaga. How about Mona Sulaiman, and those other not so popular names but contributed in bringing honor and glory to this country.”
The museum will shelter memorabilia, newspaper write-ups, and hopefully, even video clips of all Filipino Olympians.
“It’s not only about pictures nila ang nandoon, but nandun yung story, yung hard work and perseverance ng mga Filipino (athletes) that will inspire our children and future generations,” added Martinez in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
The solon is looking to tap the services of other government agencies like the National Historical Commission, Department of Tourism, Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Olympic Committee to make the program plausible
The bill also seeks to rename a sports facilities, schools, road or streets within a city, municipality, or barangay where an Olympian was born provided a city, municipal, or barangay resolution shall be approved for the purpose.
Commemorative coins and postage stamps will also be issued, the inclusion of basic education curriculum of the life stories of athletes leading to their Olympic participation, and distribution of decals, issuances of customized car plates, and other memorabilia or modes to commemorate the success of Filipino Olympians.
“Remember, our Olympians are heroes in their own rights,” said Martinez in the same session powered by Smart and with Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
Martinez added the construction of the museum would entail the bigger budget for the appropriation of the project, which he hopes to be approved in Congress and eventually, receive the same reception in the Senate.
“Once mapasa ito, magkakaroon na ng appropriations so we can put it into moving,” he said. “So tututukan natin ito at popondohan.”
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