Victorious Filipino athletes who made the nation proud at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, will soon be honored with a grand heroes’ welcome at the iconic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila.
The official announcement came directly from the Office of the President, and it was relayed to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman, Richard Bachmann, last Sunday, October 8. The grand ceremony will be a momentous occasion, graced by the presence of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. himself, and will celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Philippines’ Asian Games gold medalists, including EJ Obiena in Athletics, and the Jiu-jitsu duo of Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez, as well as the triumphant Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Basketball Team.
Chairman Bachmann, who received the news while in Hangzhou, expressed the PSC’s deep gratitude to the President for recognizing and celebrating the athletes’ victorious journey in this year’s Asian Games.
He said the proactive support of the national government, led by the President, will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of Team Philippines in future international competitions.
Bachmann, in a press conference briefer on October 10, 2023, said: “We congratulate all the athletes, the medalists, and the national record-breakers who created a remarkable stint representing our country at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.”
“The 19th Asian Games has been an incredible display of talent and determination from our Filipino athletes. Our 4 gold, 2 silver, and 12 bronze medals partnered with the tremendous commitment of each athlete in their respective sports have made our nation proud,” he said.
He also thanked the PSC Secretariat, the medical team, the coaches, and team officials for tirelessly keeping the athletes in prime condition, which eventually materialized in their winning performances throughout the meet.
“As I said before, medal or no medal, the Philippine Sports Commission will always do its best to show its unwavering support to all our athletes carrying the Philippine flag,” Bachmann added.
The grand celebration at RMSC will also extend its warm welcome to the silver medalists, including Eumir Marcial in Boxing and Arnel Mandal in Wushu, as well as the bronze medalists, including Patrick King Perez in Taekwondo, and the Wushu athletes Jones Inso, Gideon Padua, and Clemente Tabugara Jr. The list of bronze medalists also features Alex Eala and Francis Alcantara in Tennis, Patrick Coo in Cycling, Elreen Ando in Weightlifting, Kaila Napolis in Jiu-jitsu, Sakura Alforte in Karate, and the Men’s Sepak Takraw Team.
The combined efforts of these remarkable athletes earned the Philippines four gold medals, two silvers, and 12 bronzes, resulting in the country’s ranking of 17th out of 45 competing nations. This achievement marks a significant improvement from the 19th overall finish in the previous edition of the quadrennial meet, which took place in Indonesia in 2018.
Other government agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have also been tapped to participate in the festivities to ensure the success of this grand celebration.
Furthermore, Filipino athletes who secured medals in the Asian Games are entitled to receive cash incentives from the government, as mandated by Republic Act No. 10699, known as the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.”