PHLPost honors Pinoy Olympians

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THE Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) has immortalized on stamps three Filipinos who won silver medals in the Olympics — Hidilyn Diaz in Rio in 2016, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco in Atlanta in 1996 and Anthony Villanueva in Tokyo in 1964.

OLYMPIANS ON STAMPS Postmaster General Joel Otara, Hidilyn Diaz and Leni San Diego, head of the philatelic services division unveil the special stamps honoring Diaz, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco and Anthony Villanueva. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

PHLPost will release the stamps on April 23 as part of its celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Diaz and Velasco attended the pre-launch of the stamps at the main PHLPost building in Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

Villanueva died on May 13, 2014 due to a heart attack

“I’m happy that I’ll be joining other well known Filipino celebrities like Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach and Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao who were honored and featured before in postage stamps,” Diaz, 26, told reporters on Thursday. “I’m really thankful for this rare opportunity.”

The PHLPost said the “greatness” of the three Filipino athletes will be imprinted on the postage stamps.

“As PHLPost commemorates its 25th anniversary, we are issuing the special strip of three postage stamps to inspire the youth to excel in their chosen sports following the footsteps of sports great athletes – Villanueva, Velasco and Ms. Diaz,” Postmaster General Joel Otarra said.

PHLPost printed 103, 500 stamps that bear the images of the three athletes. Each stamp will be sold for P12.
Meanwhile, Diaz said she’s batting for the inclusion of weightlifting in multi-sports events like Palarong Pambansa and other collegiate leagues.

“It is my dream to include weightlifting in Palarong Pambansa, UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) in order for the sport to develop and find fresh talents,” said Diaz, whose feat in Rio ended the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.

Diaz is preparing for the Asian Indoors and Martial Arts Games to be held in Turkmenistan in September.

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