April 14, 2024

Remember when these Pinay athletes spoke up for their rights?

Remember when these Pinay athletes spoke up for their rights?
Art by One Sports

In a world where athletes were told to "shut up and dribble," and voicing out concerns were frowned upon (particularly here in the Philippines), some Filipina athletes chose to stand up and fight for their rights.

The following Pinay athletes are living proofs that nobody should settle for less, knowing well that they deserve better.

Hidilyn Diaz

Before her historic Olympic gold lift for the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the country's golden girl had funding problems leading up to the games.

In an Instagram story, Diaz shared her tribulations.

“Hirap na hirap ako. I need financial support,” Diaz posted in June 2019.

"Sa tingin niyo okay lang kaya, nahihiya kasi ako pero try ko kapalan mukha ko para sa minimithi kong pangarap para sa ating bansa na maiuwi ang Gold Medal sa Olympics," said in the IG story.

Two months after that, the weightlifter received a P2-million sponsorship via a Philippine Sports Commission collaboration to boost her campaign. By August 2021, in a hallmark moment for Philippine sports, Diaz lifted a total of 224 kg to win gold in the Women's 55 kg category in the Tokyo Olympics.

One would think that the Zamboanga native's struggles would end, but just last year, Diaz again appealed for financial support for what could be her last Olympics push.

If anything, the history-maker should have all the support she needs. Diaz is the only Olympic gold medalist the country has ever produced, and it would be a disgrace if she can't get the financial support an Olympic gold medalist deserves.

Irish Magno

Like Diaz, fellow Olympian Irish Magno also pleaded for financial help heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The boxer's appeal, however, was for her family.

In a Facebook post last March 2021, Magno said that she hasn't received two months' worth of allowance.

"Ang hirap mag-focus para sa paghahanda ko sa Olympics, kung alam mong 'yung pamilya mo sa probinsya, halos walang makain," the post said.

"Two months na walang allowance. 'Yan lang po inaasahan naming mga atleta. Sana magkaroon na."

After her post, Magno received an outpour of support from different athletes, public officials and the private sector. The athlete made sure to express her gratitude.

"Sobrang nakakataba ng puso. Tuloy lang po ang laban!" Magno said.

Agatha Wong

Agatha Wong's plight was different from the two aforementioned Olympians.

In a Tweet way back in December 2021, the four-time wushu SEA Games gold medalist raised her concern about the national athlete's discount law.

"Can we make R.A. 10699 on the national athlete's discount benefits an imposed and required law to abide by?" Wong said in the tweet.

Under that law national athletes are entitled to "20% discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of transportation services, hotels and other lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicine and sports equipment anywhere in the country."

National athletes and coaches are also given the privilege of "free medical and dental consultations in government hospitals and similar establishments anywhere in the country."

Before Wong's tweet, most Filipino citizens outside of the sporting circle would probably have no idea that such law exists. If she didn't raise the issue, it probably will remain a foreign topic to many.

Again, this proves that speaking out should not be considered a taboo. If anything, more people should rally behind athletes more when they speak out about social issues and funding problems.