MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Albay has raised over P200,000 for Filipino Olympian Michael Martinez following its Piso Para ki Michael (Piso Para kay Michael) campaign for the figure skater.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda said he has handed over the funds to Martinez, when the skater arrived from Sochi, Russia.
Salceda said Martinez’s qualification to the Sochi Winter Olympics alone is worth the commendation.
“Noong ibinigay ko [‘yung pondo] mangiyak-ngiyak 'yung bata,” the governor said.
Salcedo assured that Albay will be behind Martinez in his future tournaments to make sure that the figure skater will no longer have to scrape for funds to finance his training.
“Sigurado ko na lamapasan pa namin ‘yung naitulong… ang Albay siguradong tututulong para masiguro na may gold medalist tayo sa 2018 [Winter Olympics],” said Salceda.
After hearing of Martinez’s plight to get to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Salceda launched the fund-raising drive for the young athlete. The provincial government distributed can coin banks and encouraged everyone to give at least P1 to help Martinez.
Martinez set the record for being the first Filipino and Southeast Asian figure skater to compete in the Winter Olympics, gaining global recognition for his feat. – From a report by Jose Carretero, ABS-CBN Albay