Solon bats for museum to honor, immortalize Olympians

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2021 04:09 PM

The New Clark City Aquatics Center. File photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.
The New Clark City Aquatics Center. File photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA, Philippines -- The New Clark City Sports Complex in Tarlac is being eyed as the site of the Philippine Olympians Memorial, which will commemorate the Filipino athletes who have represented the country in the Olympic Games.

The sports hub was used as the main venue of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. 

House Bill 10096, filed by Deputy Speaker Eric Martinez of the 2nd District of Valenzuela City, identifies the sports complex as the venue for the museum that will trace the country's history in the Olympics.

Martinez filed the bill in the wake of the Filipino athletes' success in the Tokyo Olympics, where Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines' first ever Olympic gold, while boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam brought home silvers, and another boxer in Eumir Marcial bagged a bronze.

"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," Martinez said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

"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," he added.

The primary facet of the bill is the construction of the museum that will house the memorabilia, write-ups, and even video clips of Filipino Olympians. Martinez also hopes that the museum will become a tourist spot that can inspire future Filipino athletes.

"It's not only about pictures nila ang nandoon, but nandun 'yung story, 'yung hard work and perseverance ng mga Filipino (athletes) that will inspire our children and future generations," he said.

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 possible.

"Once maano natin ang bill na 'to sa Lower House, hahanap nga ako ng counterpart sa Senate para maipasa rin 'to, then once 'yun, automatic magkakaroon ng ng appropriations so we can put it moving. Ang mahalaga is 'yung museum, 'yun ang medyo malaking appropriation," said Martinez.