Weightlifter and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was bestowed the very first “Lucky Person of the Year” award by Resorts World Manila (RWM) through a partnership with the annual “People of the Year Awards” on January 27.
Diaz was in good company that evening as other “People of the Year” awardees included business tycoon Andrew Tan, award-winning actor John Lloyd Cruz and seasoned educator and diplomat Preciosa Soliven, to name a few.
RWM’s “Lucky Person of the Year” award recognizes those who create their own luck through hard work. Diaz is the perfect example as she combined perseverance and sacrifice to attract the good fortune that led to her dramatic victory.
“At Resorts World Manila, we think differently,” RWM CEO and President Kingson Sian said. “We believe that luck is in our hands. Think about it—most of the people we consider as lucky also happen to be the most hardworking—Manny Pacquiao, Pia Wurtzbach, just to name a few. We might think of them as lucky, but it can’t be denied that they worked hard for their achievements.”
Diaz’story from humble beginnings to Olympic hero was not one without its fair share of hardships.
“Noong bata ako nag-iigib ako ng tubig doon sa bahay namin,” she recounted. “Ang Barangay Mampang, walang masyadong tubig doon, so kumukuha kami ng tubig sa posohan, 200 to 300 meters away sa amin.
Karga-karga ko yung galon. Nagbebenta rin ako ng gulay, isda para pangtulong din sa magulang, saka para baon ko sa eskwelahan (When I was younger, I would fetch water from the well and carry it by the gallon back to our home. I would also sell vegetables and fish to help my parents and to earn pocket money for school).”
Diaz began weightlifting at age 11 after observing her cousins’ passion for it and decided to give it a try. The rest is history.
During the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Diaz brought home the country’s first Olympic medal in 20 years. Such an accomplishment was one that RWM felt mirrored and embodied its own company values of inspiring excellence, unyielding integrity, and true compassion.
As Diaz herself gleefully put it, “Bago ko nakamit ang swerteng ito, 14 years in the making.” (This luck I attained has been 14 years in the making).
Complimenting this unique award were internationally acclaimed glass sculptor Ramon Orlina who was commissioned to design and produce the trophy called “Jubilation” and celebrated couturier Jun Escario who designed Diaz’ gown for the awards ceremony.