Lydia De Vega’s Lifetime Achievement Award inspires Bicolano athletes

May 3, 2018
By: Conrad Nestor Mativo/Jeremiah Macalla
Adviser: Mr. Bryan E. Novio

Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia de Vega’s Lifetime Achievement Award conferred by DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones during the Opening Ceremonies of Palarong Pambansa 2018 at Vigan City yesterday has brought inspiration to the Bicolano athletes as they fired up for week-long battle ahead.
Stephanie Mercado, De Vega’s daughter, received the award and a cash prize of Php 100,000 on her behalf since she is at Singapore for a sports tournament and delivered her mother’s message that champions the spirit of the modern day young athletes..

“Mahirap ang susuungin naming laban pero sa tulong ng mga taong sinusuportahan kmi all the way, kakayanin naming ito at saka inspirasyon naming si Lydia para maging katulad rin naming siya, someday“.” Yhel Mae Zamudio, Basketball player, proudly stated.
 Zamudio also said that the distinction received by De Vega is a strong motivating drive for them to believe that there may be bitter training days but the sweetness of success awaits them not measured by the number of medals earned.

Ang trainings naming, mahirap man, naniniwala kami na may naghihintay sa aming tagumpay na hindi masusukat ng mga mapapanalunan naming medalya. Si  Mam Lydia ang nagbukas sa aming pag-iisip na ang lahat ay nag-uumpisa sa pagkabigo pero hindi ito hadlang upang magpatuloy.
Other Bicolano athletes likewise expressed their admiration to the Asia’s sprint queen.
She is a legend that we also wish to become. We work hard for our dreams and we can relate a lot to what she told us (De Vega),” Erin Janelle Monzales, Badminton single player, said.
Monzales also stated that the words of De Vega will forever reverb in their hearts and minds even after the competition.
“Ang kanyang mga tinuran ay nag-iwan ng marka na habambuhay naming dadalhin sa aming puso’t isipan bilang mga atleta na nagpapatuloy sa pagbuo ng aming pangarap.”

Tracing back the history, De Vega, meanwhile, listed 4 gold medals in Asian T & F meets, 9 gold medals in the SEA Games and 2 gold medals in the Asian Games and made a spark at Southeast Asia Games (SEA) Games 1981 setting records groundbreaking records in 200 & 400 meter dash and was even named as the Fastest Asian Woman that year.
Further, Palaro champions who brought international distinctions for the country, namely: Efren Bata Reyes for billiards, Elma Muros for track and field, Paeng Nepomuceno for bowling, Eugenio Torre for chess, Onyok Velasco for boxing, Eric Buhain for Swimming, Luis Gabriel Moreno for Archery and Hidilyn Diaz for Weightlifting were likewise invited in the ceremony and were given a special tribute.
The opening ceremonies witnessed by more than 15,000 athletes and spectators were graced by President Rodrigo Duterte and DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones.
The Bicol Region (V), meanwhile,  eyes to clinch more gold medals this time to improve its overall standing after placing 11th last year with 9 gold, 18 silver, 34 bronze at Antique.