Tracksters Lydia de Vega, Elma Muros, Isidro del Prado and swimmer Eric Buhain are in the short list for the first-ever Palarong Pambansa Parangal Achievement Award to be given on the 60th edition of the annual grassroots sportsfest in Antique on April 23 to 29.
This was announced by Department of Education Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
“We will give the award to someone who was a Palaro product and has given the country something to be proud of during his stint as national athlete,” said Umali, adding that DepEd is ready for the weeklong event to be held in the town of San Jose de Buenavista.
“It will be one of the highlights of Antique’s hosting because it will mark the first time that the Palaro organizers will give such an award. He or she should have been an inspiration to country,” he added.
The Palarong Pambansa board has created a selection committee that will screen the candidates for the inaugural award.
De Vega was once considered as Asia’s fastest woman during the 1980s, winning the gold medal of the century dash in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. She also won the gold in the 100-m dash in 1987, 1991 and 1993 SEA Games. She still holds the record in the juniors division of the 100-meter dash, 200-m and 400-m events.
Muros made history in the SEAG as she started competing at a very young age of 14. She was a former heptathlon and long jump titlist, earning a total of 15 medals in the SEA Games.
Meanwhile, del Prado was a two-time Olympian who holds the national record in 400-m run, an event where he won two gold medals in the Asian Athletics meet.
Buhain, on the other hand, won six gold medals in the 1991 SEA Games where he was also named the Most Valuable Player of the biennial meet. He served as Chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission from 2001 to 2005.
Umali said the awardee would receive a trophy and P50,000 cash.