JAKARTA – Before heading back to Manila a few days ago, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez reminded the national athletes competing in the Asian Games here of the sacrifices being made by the men on the battlefield.
“When you look at the Philippine flag, remember our forefathers, who died for our country, the poor Filipinos who have been missing their meals and the soldiers who have fought and died for our country,” Ramirez said as he was waiting to board his flight home.
Ramirez attended the opening rites and stayed a few days and t h e Davao-based educator kept on telling the athletes of the golden chance to carry the flag in an international event.
“The chance to represent is a rare opportunity. An opportunity to become a hero,” he said.
As members of the national team emerged from the tube o f Soekarno-Hatta Airport after their Philippine Airlines flight from Manila, Ramirez, who was positioned behind the glass partition, pumped his fist when athletes and officials acknowledged his presence.
While Ramirez’s words were inaudible, lip-readers could assume what he was saying.
Based on his facial expression and hand gestures, it was crystal-clear that Ramirez was rallying behind everyone on the 272-strong Philippine contingent.
Ramirez kept on doing the same hand movement and his expression remained that of a taskmaster until the last uniformed Asian Games delegate had disembarked.
Only a fool would assume Ramirez was clowning around. (Nick Giongco)