House adopts resolutions honoring late ‘sprint queen’

Published August 15, 2022, 7:53 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The House of Representatives has consolidated and adopted seven resolutions conveying the solons’ condolences to the family of the late Asian track and field legend Lydia de Vega-Mercado, who went by the monikers “the fastest woman of Asia”, and “Asia’s spirit queen”.

Lydia de Vega

Initially taken up for adoption during the plenary session Monday night, Aug. 15 was House Resolution (HR) No.231, authored by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, sSnior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos and Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude Acidre.

The motion was approved by Deputy Speaker Isidro Ungab, who was presiding st that time. Right after his, Deputy Majority Leader Jayjay Suarez, who made the initial motion, moved to consolidate HR No.231 with similar measures 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, and 228.

“Ms. Lydia De Vega-Mercado not only brought honor, pride and unparalleled distinction to our beloved country, but inspired so many more athletes to follow suit and follow their dreams. Ms. De Vega has virtually put our country on the map by being, at one time, the ‘fastest woman in Asia,” Romualdez said.

“Her legacy will live on in the hearts of millions of Filipinos who will remember her name and her legacy as one of the best and brightest shining stars of Philippine sports,” the Speaker added.

The resolution will be presented to the family of De Vega, who passed away at the age of 57 last Aug. 10 following a four-year battle with breast cancer.

“Resolved by the House of Representatives, to convey its profound condolences to the family of Lydia De Vega-Mercado, sprint queen of Asia and one of the greatest Filipino athletes of all time,” the resolution read.

“It is indeed with great sorrow that the country lost a word-class athlete with the untimely passing of Lydia de Vega-Mercado, but her legacy lives on and she will always be remembered as one of the greatest Filipino sports icons who brought great honor and pride to the country,” it added.

In a display of magnanimity, Suarez also moved to have all 311 members of the House become authors of the consolidated resolution.

“At the age of 16, Ms. De Vega-Mercado found her way to the national team and won the gold medal in the 200-meter dash and 400-meter run in the 1981 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila,” according to the resolution.

She then went on to win several medals, including nine gold medals, nine silver medals and two bronze medals in the SEA Games; back-to-back gold medals in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games; gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events in the 1983 and 1987 Asian Athletics Championships; and her personal best record of 11.28 seconds during the 100-meter dash event at the 1987 SEA Games “remained undisputed for over three decades”.

“A two-time Olympian, Ms. De Vega-Mercado represented the Philippines in the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 100-meter event at 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 1994, Ms. De Vega-Mercado successfully ended her track and field career by winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Manila- Fujian Games,” the resolution stated.