One-time Asia’s fastest woman Lydia de Vega and bowling icons Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo led 10 awardees inducted to the Philippine Sports Hall of fame in ceremonies held in Manila last Thursday.
“Hindi madali ang maging atleta, hindi madali na magwagi. Hindi madali ang gawin lahat ng mga bagay na magiging dahilan para mapabilang ka sa mga katangitanging atleta na pararangalan ng ganito. Masaya ako na mapabilang sa Hall of Fame. Salamat ako ay inyong napili,” said De Vega during her short speech.
She also mentioned that she made it sure to come home and receive the award personally as she considers being member of the Hall of Fame one of the best awards she has received as an athlete.
Coo thanked her family who introduced her to the sport during a “trying time in her life.”
Nepomuceno, a recipient of many awards local and abroad said “it is an honor to be recognized in your own country by your own people.”
The three sports icons joined the elite group of Hall of Famers, which now has 37 inducted awardees since it was first held in 2010.
Also present and inducted that night was boxing champ Erbito Salavarria, who held both WBC and WBA flyweight belts during his prime.
Posthumously inducted were Filomeno Codinera (baseball/softball), Josephine dela Vina (athletics), Loreto Carbonell (basketball), Benjamin Arda (golf), Lita dela Rosa (bowling) and Senator Ambrosio Padilla (basketball).
Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez congratulated all the awardees and extolled the virtues of hard work and dedication in his speech emphasizing, “it is love for sport and country that makes someone a legend.”
The Philippine Sports Hall of fame was created by virtue of Republic Act 8757, with representatives from the Philippine Olympic Committee, Games and Amusements Board, national sports associations and two other private groups.
POC President Ricky Vargas, GAB Chairman Baham Mitra, Philippine Olympians Association President Akiko Thomson-Guevara were also present during the event.