AS THE country's Tokyo 2020 Olympics medalists -- Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting gold), Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam (boxing silvers), and Eumir Felix Marcial (boxing bronze) -- referred to as the Fantastic Four (F4), have received most of their cash incentives and congratulatory gifts, may they truly enjoy the sweet fruits of their labor.
It is but sad to note that ever since their cash bonuses, in the form of millions of pesos, were announced, some think that it would be a great opportunity for them to share in the Olympic medalists' blessings as if they are entitled to.
If not asking for "balato," others dare to borrow money in hundreds of thousands (maybe even a million?) for a variety of reasons they can think of. And if their requests are not granted, they would take the bitter route and say, "This athlete has become arrogant or stingy."
In the first place, the incentives Diaz, Petecio, Paalam and Marcial received could be attributed to the years of their painstaking efforts and sacrifices to train and compete in different international tournaments, and of recently, doing so despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They never had it easy. Literally, they sowed tears, sweat, and blood to achieve what they have accomplished not just for themselves but for the country as well. Just imagine being away from their parents and loved ones, going on a strict diet, and being confined in bubble training with a lot of restrictions.
So whatever they wanted to do with their money and however they spend it is at their sole discretion. As the four of them are all adults, they can already decide for themselves, considering that they all have experienced hardships in life, they know the value of the money that took them years to see and hold.
Let's not label them names, they deserve much better than that from us, Filipinos. They are our heroes, whether you agree or not.
We should just be happy for them. After all, they deserve everything that they have been receiving. They also have families and a future that they must think of.
Instead of thinking about what you can benefit from them, how about initiating and expressing your gratitude for the pride, honor, and glory they have given our country? That's the least we all can do.
And I second what Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez earlier said, our Olympic medalists must know how to manage their money and be disciplined about it. Seeking professional advice would be a good idea.