The New Clark City Sports Complex in Tarlac is being tapped to house the Philippine Olympian Memorial, which serves as fitting and permanent commemoration of the sacrifices rendered by Filipino athletes to represent the country in the Olympiad.
The commission of the sports hub used as the main venue of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosting is instilled in House Bill 10096, otherwise known as the Philippine Olympian Memorial Act, filed in Congress by Deputy Speaker Eric Martinez of the 2nd district of Valenzuela City.
The bill couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Martinez, in the wake of the success reaped by the Philippine contingent in the recent Tokyo Olympics, where the country won its first gold medal through weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz to cap its most productive campaign ever in the quadrennial showcase.
The young solon said the memorial will not only cover the 12 Filipinos responsible for winning a medal for the country in the Olympiad, but all athletes who represented the country in the Olympics since 1924 when lone representative David Nepomuceno competed in the Paris Games.
“Naisip ko itong Olympian Memorial Act na ito to immortalize and memorialize not only the Fab 12 na medalist natin sa Olympics. But we will honor all those Olympians since 1924 in David Nepomuceno’s time up to this batch of Tokyo Olympics of 2020,” said Martinez in Tuesday’s webcast edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
“We should never forget Lydia De Vega. We should never forget Caloy Loyzaga. How about Mona Sulaiman, and those other not so popular names but contributed in bringing honor and glory to this country?”
And the main facet of the bill is the construction of the museum that will shelter the memorabilia, newspaper write-ups, and hopefully, even video clippings of all Filipino Olympians who competed in the meet.
The museum could serve as a tourist haven and at the same time, inspire young and future athletes by knowing and learning the history of Philippine sports.
“It’s not only about pictures nila ang nandoon, but nandu’n ‘yung story, ‘yung hard work and perseverance ng mga Filipino (athletes) that will inspire our children and future generations,” added Martinez in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
The solon is looking to tap the services of other government agencies like the National Historical Commission, Department of Tourism, Department of Education, Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Olympic Committee to make the program plausible
The other facets of the bill is the naming and renaming of any road, street, or alley within a city, municipality, or barangay under a Olympian’s name, where the athlete was born provided a city, municipal, or barangay resolution shall be approved for the purpose.
There is also the renaming of public sports facilities, schools, plazas, buildings, bridges, and other public structures pursuant to an ordinance or resolution approved by concerned local government unit.
Commemorative coins and postage stamps will also be issued, the inclusion of basic education curriculum of the life stories of athletes leading to their Olympic participation, and distribution of decals, issuances of customized car plates, and other memorabilia or modes to commemorate the success of Filipino Olympians.
“Remember, our Olympians are heroes in their own rights,” said Martinez in the same session powered by Smart and with Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
Martinez added the construction of the museum would entail the bigger budget for the appropriation of the project, which he hopes to be approved in Congress and eventually, receive the same reception in the Senate.
“Once mapasa ito, magkakaroon na ng appropriations so we can put it into motion,” he said. “So tututukan natin ito at popondohan.”