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Onyok to medalists: Keep the fire burning; gets surprise gift from Chooks


Olympic silver medalists Onyok Velasco and Hidilyn Diaz attend the Siklab Awards on Wednesday night at the Century Park Sheraton. (Nick Giongco)
Olympic silver medalists Onyok Velasco and Hidilyn Diaz. (File)

Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco has challenged Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial to keep the fire burning even after going home with medals in the recent Tokyo Olympics.

The silver medalist in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta said the success that resulted in a boat-load of incentives from the government and private sector should not serve as a hindrance towards striving for better things moving forward.

“Ituloy-tuloy lang din at wag niyo isipin na may pera na kayo, wag niyong isipin na mayaman na kayo. Isipin niyo na back to normal ulit, back to zero ka ulit para yung pursige mo at yung pagkauhaw mo sa medalya nandun pa din,” Velasco said when he guested the Power and Play program of former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

“Katulad si Hidilyn, wag niya isipin na naka-gold siya para sa susunod niyang laban, uhaw ulit siya at hahanapin pa rin niya yung gold na inaasam-asam natin para tuloy-tuloy tung pag-gold natin sa Olympics. Yun lang, ituloy-tuloy lang ng training at pinakaimportante yung disciplina.”

The Philippines produced its best-ever performance in the Olympics, with Diaz leading the charge by capturing the country’s first gold after winning the women’s 55-kg weightlifting category.

The rest of the medals came in boxing, with Petecio and Paalam getting the silver in the women’s featherweight and men’s flyweight and Marcial claiming a bronze in the men’s middleweight class.

Diaz is estimated to receive at least P40 million as mandated by the government and private companies who have made their pledges prior to the Games.

Petecio and Paalam stand to get at least P19 million each and Marcial P8 million. All three will also get condominiums and perks from various companies.

That wasn’t the case for Velasco, who claimed that he didn’t receive all of the pledges from various sectors following his silver medal showing 25 years ago, including P2.5 million from the House of Representatives, scholarships for his two children courtesy of the Navy and the title of his house and lot.

Onyok Velasco (center) with Benjie Paras and Chooks-to-Go boss Ronald Mascarinas.

But Velasco is set to receive P500,000 from the government through the help of Senator Bong Go. The compensation is currently being processed by the Office of the President.

Meantime, Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas surprised Velasco with a gift in the form of his own Chooks-to-Go store that is located in Litex Road which is close to his home in Violago Homes, Parkwood Hills Subdivision.

“Natutuwa akong makita ang buhos ng parangal at gantimpala mula sa pamahalaan at lalo na sa pribadong sektor sa mga atletang nagbigay ng karangalan sa bansa nitong nakaarang Olympics. Ngunit may isang matagal ng pangakong tila nakalimutan na and we’d like to be part of the solution first before we join the celebration of our heroes in the Tokyo Olympics,” said Mascariñas.

“We’re giving one Chooks-to-Go store to Onyok because as a Filipino we owe it to him for bringing honor to our country. We are also giving him an additional P100,000 so that he can have his long-delayed honeymoon in Boracay with his wife May.”

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Written by Tempo Desk

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