TWO-TIME Olympian and former national shooting champion Mariano 'Tom' Ong died on Wednesday, December 14 after a heart attack. He was 78.
Ong , father of longtime shooting titlist Nathaniel 'Tac' Padilla and a known industrialist being one of the pillars of Malabon Soap and Oil Industrial Co., Inc., makers of Spring Cooking Oil, was one of the first Filipinos to be awarded the Gold Masters Badge for shooting in the rapid fire event of the 1974 World Championships in Thun, Switzerland.
He was a consistent national record-holder in the rapid fire event since 1972 until Tac surpassed his mark. Ong competed in the 1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
In the 1992 Southeast Asian Games Shooting Association (SEASA) Championships, Ong, Tac Padilla and another son, Donald, won the gold medal for the rapid fire team event against the heavily favored Thailand shooters.
Since 1977 until his retirement in 1997, Ong and his two sons represented the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games, winning various medals and awards in rapid fire competitions.
Ong was Tac Padilla’s mentor since he began his shooting career. Tac credits his father for his tremendous success as he imparted to him the importance of discipline, dedication and hard work.