THE blessings keep pouring in for Philippine sports heroine Hidilyn Diaz.
Diaz, who won a silver medal in the 53kg category of the women’s weightlifting competition of the Rio Olympics, received the Congressional Medal of Distinction from the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Along with the honor, 1Pacman Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero said Diaz also received some P1.4 million from congressmen as added cash incentive for ending the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.
Romero said that the amount was raised by members of the House who contributed at least P5,000 from their own pockets.
Zamboanga City native Diaz was accompanied by her own congressman Celso Lobregat, who led her to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other key leaders of the chamber.
Representatives Mark Sambar and Jericho Nograles of PBA Party-list, Eric Pineda of 1Pacman and Alfredo Garbin of Ako Bicol Party-list were also present in welcoming Diaz before the presentation of the award.
Diaz is not the first athlete to receive the gold-plated Medal of Distinction as former Saranggani congressman and now Senator Manny Pacquiao was awarded the congressional medal twice for his boxing feats.
Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas and Romero were also the principal authors of House Resolution 175, consolidating at least 35 proposed measures from nearly 100 solons, lauding Diaz for inspiring present and future national athletes to duplicate her feat.
“Expect many of our athletes to make serious attempts to bring home international competition honors soon. They will surely draw inspiration from what Diaz has been reaping so far,” Romero said.
“This achievement of Hidilyn Diaz affords great pride and honor to the country as it strives to produce better athletes out to conquer the world circuit,” the authors of House Resolution No. 145 added.