MANILA, Philippines -- Nikko Huelgas added another medal to his already overflowing collection earlier this week.
Huelgas, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in triathlon, received a military merit medal from the Philippine Air Force, Monday afternoon.
The 29-year-old Chooks-to-Go ambassador was honored because of his response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic all throughout 2020. During the past year, Huelgas went to numerous affected communities in Tarlac, Bulacan, Tingloy Island, and Albay to distribute relief goods.
"We had some rough days in 2020 when we'd wake up early and arrive home late from our relief operations, bringing our goods to hard to reach areas and the poorest of the poor," said Huelgas, now a sergeant from Flight Alpha.
"When the world wanted us to stay home and safe, we were out there to help the best way we could."
Huelgas retired from the national team after the 2018 Asian Games.
Since then, he went to train with the Air Force while also serving as chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission.
During the pandemic, Huelgas has been active in distributing goods, organizing drives, and jumpstarting fund-raisers for communities affected by the on-going pandemic.
"A big thank you to Brigadier General Aries Gonzales of the Philippine Air Force, Major Jacqueline Jimenez of TOWNOL, and the rest of the units both from the Army and Airforce that we've worked with in fighting the enemy, COVID. I would also like to thank Chooks-to-Go for always supporting me in my drives," expressed Huelgas.