LEGAZPI CITY, March 1 (PNA) — Filipino Olympian Michael Christian Martinez is expected to visit Albay any day during the Daragang Magayon Festival starting last week of March up to April, according to Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda.
This, Salceda said, cropped up when he personally turned over to Martinez and his mother the amount P200,348 and $ 1.25 as contribution of the Albayanos to the expenses of the lone Filipino who competed in the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The 17-year-old Martinez was the first Filipino figure skater to represent the Philippines at the Winter Olympics in 22 years.
The amount Salceda gave to him was the total contribution during the fund-raising campaign for his expenses dubbed as “Piso Para ki Martinez (A Peso for Martinez).”
To start the ball rolling, the Albay governor donated his one-month salary.
“Michael is a Filipino Pride,” Salceda said, comparing the young Olympian with the “Pambansang Kamao” (National Fist), Congressman Manny Pacquiao.
He noted that the Filipinos not only at home but also those in other countries got united in supporting the champions.
“The sense of pride is important to the Albayano,” Salceda stressed.
He said Martinez and Pacquiao are a source of common pride and inspiration among Filipinos, adding that whenever these two have contests or fights, Filipinos all over the world are united.
In this connection, Salceda said, the province of Albay will strengthen its sports program under the leadership of Roderick Mendoza as sports coordinator.
The program aims to discover Albayanos who will excel in the field of sports not only in Albay but also in the whole world.(PNA)