Philippine sports legends and officials have gathered in the wake of Lydia de Vega to pay homage to the late athletics legend.
According to Jonathan Andal's report on "24 Oras Weekend," Saturday, fellow track star Elma Muros-Posadas, taekwondo jin Monsour Del Rosario, bowling champion Bong Coo, and swimmer Akiko Thompson-Guevarra were all present to say goodbye to Diay.
Elma recalled how strong her bond was with De Vega during and after their glory days and said the "Asia's Sprint Queen" will always be a model to others.
"Diay, wala na akong magagawa, iniwan mo na kami. Habang nabubuhay ako nandito ka palagi sa akin naggagabay dahil ayan na 'yung nakagisnan ko eh," an emotional Elma.
"Mahal na mahal kita, maraming nagmamahal sa 'yo na atleta dahil modelo ka."
Monsour, meanwhile, reminisced a time when he and his fellow jins challenged Lydia to a race.
"Si Lydia nung 1982 superstar na 'yan eh, kami hindi pa kami masyadong kilala sa taekwondo. Nakikita niya kami mag-training sa umaga and one time, tinanong namin siya kung pwede namin siya makalaban sa karera," he said. "Talo kaming mga lalaki sa kanya. Ang bilis talaga tumakbo."
Akiko said they are grieving Lydia's loss but also they also thank God for the sprinter's life that has become an inspiration for many.
"Ang saya ko for my mom kasi nagkasama-sama sila ulit, 'yun nga lang wala siya but definitely, nasa isip at puso natin 'yung mom ko," said Lydia's daughter, former volleyball player Paneng Mercado.
According to POC president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, De Vega will have her own wall in the planned POC museum.
De Vega's wake is now open to public from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig. She will be transferred to the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Meycauayan, Bulacan on Monday and Tuesday.
Her burial will take place on Wednesday.
—Bea Micaller/MGP, GMA News