It’s been almost a month since Hidilyn Diaz took home the Philippines’ first-ever gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Since she arrived in the country, several institutions have reached out to the ‘golden girl’ to congratulate her and show appreciation, one of whom is San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang, a longtime supporter of the country’s athletes.
Ang personally handed Hidiyn—a Ginebra San Miguel brand ambassador from 2019—a P10 million check as his personal gift for her winning the gold. Aside from Hidilyn, boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio will also receive P5 million each from Ang for winning silver medals, while P2 million will go to bronze medal-winning boxer Eumir Marcial.
During their encounter, Ang further challenged Hidilyn to gun for another gold medal three years from now in Paris, where the Philippines will mark its 100th year of participation in the quadrennial meet.
“Hidilyn is the country’s trailblazer in our successful Olympic gold medal quest. After years of heartbreaks, she came through for us, and we are very thankful as a nation. We encourage her to go for another gold and inspire more athletes to believe that they can achieve more,” the SMC president said.
“Her victory comes at a very crucial point in our country’s history when we are grappling with a pandemic, and a lot of Filipinos are looking for hope as we fight this virus and cope with the difficulties it has brought,” he added.
Ang also noted that despite the windfall of incentives Hidilyn has received, he wanted to help ensure the Olympic gold medalist and her family will always have a steady and sustainable source of income.
That is why apart from the P10 million incentive, he is also giving Hidilyn two Chick ‘N Juicy chicken rotisserie franchise outlets from San Miguel Foods, Inc. as a gift. One outlet will be at Eastwood City in Libis, and another at her home province in Zamboanga.
“We know that after winning the Olympic gold, there’s a downpour of incentives both from the government and the private sector for Hidilyn and our other Olympic medalists the past few weeks. So, my advice is for her to be smart with finances—to spend and invest wisely, and to plan for the future,” Ang said.
Ramon also asked Hidilyn to use her influence to encourage more Filipinos to follow health protocols and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Being a world-class athlete takes a lot of discipline and adherence to time-tested rules to be the best. Beating this pandemic requires the same. We can all do our share by being diligent with following health protocols and getting vaccinated. There is a Hidilyn in each one of us, and we can all carry the country’s weight on our shoulders through this difficult period,” Ramon encouragingly said
As a long-time supporter of Philippine sports, SMC backed the Philippine team that ruled the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with 149 gold medals, 117 silvers, and 121 bronzes.
With the help of SMC, the Philippine team also won the overall championship in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games with 112 golds, 85 silvers, and 93 bronzes.
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