Last night was a whirlwind of ecstatic joy after Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal. It was decades in the making, but Hidilyn was the athlete who finally made the dream of an entire nation become a reality. Now a two-time Olympic medalist (she won a silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics), Hidilyn is coming home with much more than just a gold medal.
Just before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics began, businessmen and the Philippine government promised the Philippine team that there'd be cash prizes waiting for them if they brought home a medal. Millions, at that.
Just to make sure that Hidilyn gets what she rightly deserves, here's a list of everything she's getting now she's won a gold.
1. P10 Million from the Philippine Sports Commission
As per the 2015 Sports Benefits and Incentives Act, any gold medalist representing the Philippines will win P10 million. The law states under Section 8: "Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) and an Olympic Gold Medal of Valor to be issued by the PSC for Summer Olympic and Winter Olympic Games."
Silver medalists will be awarded P5 million while bronze medalists will be awarded P2 million.
2. P10 Million from Manny Pangilinan
The Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation decided to match the government's incentive in order to boost morale and give athletes an extra push to win.
"We've been waiting for the Olympic gold medal for so long and we know it will inspire the entire nation," said MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio on July 8.
Like the PSC, MVP will award silver medalists P5 million and bronze medalists P2 million.
3. P10 Million from Ramon Ang
San Miguel CEO Ramon Ang said that he'd match the cash awards of Manny Pangilinan and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) by giving P10 million to any Filipino Olympian who manages to snatch a gold medal.
Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino confirmed RSA's commitment on July 13: "Nagpapasalamat din ako kay Ramon Ang of San Miguel na nag-commit ng same amount like MVP group."
Like the PSC and MVP foundation, RSA will award silver medalists P5 million and bronze medalists P2 million.
4. P3 Million from Mikee Romero
On July 20, House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero stated that he would add to the growing cash pool for Olympians with P3 million to the gold medalists, P2 million to silver medalists, and P1 million to bronze medalists.
"Ang aking good news na out of my company's expenses, itataya ko na [ang incentives] to give additional motivation," said Romero, whose businesses include AirAsia Philippines.
5. A house and lot from the government
Aside from a P10 million prize, Philippine Olympic Committee president Tolentino also said that the government would gift every gold medalist with a house and lot.
6. And bonuses
In 2016, when Hidilyn won her silver medal at the Summer Olympics, she won P5 million as part of the PSC Incentives Act, but President Rodrigo Duterte sent a personal bonus of P2 million from his office. That means it's highly likely the athlete will be receiving plenty of other surprise gifts in the coming weeks, as she well deserves.
7. And even more bonuses
All of these prizes pertain to promises made before the Olympics, not even counting the flood of sponsorships that will be coming Hidilyn's way. As the first-ever Filipino gold Olympian, every sports brand, drink brand, sportswear brand, maybe even telco brands and car brands, will be interested in her becoming a potential ambassador. That means gifts and sponsorship deals that could rival the P33 million prize from the tycoons.
All of these prizes come just two years after Hidilyn made headlines about the financial struggles of being a Filipino athlete with a lack of government support. She was even harassed by propaganda trolls, at one point fearing for her life after she was unfairly included in an unproven plot against the government. But the universe works in mysterious ways because two years after that debacle, she's laughing all the way to the bank.
We'll be seeing more of Hidilyn, perhaps as a trainer, a speaker, or a brand ambassador. This marks an exciting new time for Filipinos, who aren't entirely sure what to expect of Filipino gold Olympians. Because, well, we've never had one until now.
Suffice to say, the Olympic gold is only the beginning for Hidilyn.