go for gold

while i am writing this, the philippines has just won another gold, this time in the sport of boxing, courtesy of violito payla, who stomped his authority over his thai opponent, somjit jongjohor. based on the real-time updates available on the asian games website, payla is way ahead, and at the end of the fourth round, has connected more than 30 punches, compared to the thai's 15. this brings the country's gold medal haul to 2, lifting it past vietnam, a rising southeast asian powerhouse. last night, i stayed up late watching the duel between gabica and de luna in billiards 9-ball.

i am very very interested in prestigious international sporting events such as the asian games and the olympics, where national honor, more than anything else, is at stake. when our athletes do not do well, i get upset, but i don't blame them. they are involved in something whose rewards are far from being financial, but merely psychic. the national sports program leaves much to be desired and i wonder whether we can produce another lydia de vega soon. when we win, however, i am very delighted; it makes me feel good to be witnessing these selfless quests for glory. i remember that one of my proudest moments as a filipino was when i was living in singapore and watching the gold medal match between the philippines and another country in SEA games basketball. of course, the philippines won, and they played the national anthem, and i sang along with the entire team.

what i find perplexing, however, is sports officials predicting medals in certain marquee sports, that in the end, have not delivered. i was very disappointed to see our hopes of bowling gold falter as our feared national players rolled one disappointing game after another. but i toast to the unheralded athletes, whose are involved in unpopular sports, whose chances of winning have generally been ignored, but who, in the end, carried the day for the filipino campaign. 2 golds. i wish we could have done better. but with the amount of support they get, i'm even surprised we did this well.

go team philippines!