|Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas and former national team member Benjie Paras hand Atlanta Olympics silver medalist Onyok Velasco his own Chooks-to-Go store.|
MANILA--Chooks-to-Go has given 1996 Summer Olympics silver medalist Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco Jr. a branch for his service to the country.
It is public knowledge that Velasco, who won the country's second-ever silver Olympic medal was never able to get the full benefits promised by the government on an athlete that won a medal in the Olympics.
"Nung matapos kong manalo ng silver sa Atlanta Olympics, yung hindi natupad yung sa congress na 2.5-million pati yung sa Philippine Navy na scholarship ng dalawang anak ko. Yung bahay nandiyan na pero yung titulo wala pa. Nagpangako rin ng 10,000 monthly na lifetime pero isang taon lang binigay sa akin," recalled the 47-year-old Velasco, a native of Bago, Negros Occidental.
It did not go unnoticed by Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas.
Last Friday, Mascariñas invited Velasco to his office in Ortigas, saying that he only wanted to meet him. Surprising the boxer was a gift in the form of his own Chooks-to-Go store that is located in Litex Road which is close to his home in Violago Homes, Parkwood Hills Subdivision.
"Natutuwa akong makita ang buhos ng parangal at gantimpala mula sa pamahalaan at lalo na sa pribadong sektor sa mga atletang nagbigay ng karangalan sa bansa nitong nakaarang Olympics. Ngunit may isang matagal ng pangakong tila nakalimutan na and we’d like to be part of the solution first before we join the celebration of our heroes in the Tokyo Olympics," said Mascariñas.
"We’re giving one Chooks-to-Go store to Onyok because as a Filipino we owe it to him for bringing honor to our country. We are also giving him an additional P100,000 so that he can have his long-delayed honeymoon in Boracay with his wife May."
"Pinapunta ako dito ni Sir Ronald dito at dalhin ko raw yung medal ko. Hindi ko alam kung bakit e. Yun pala eto yung surprise sa akin. Kala ko nga nanalo din ako sa Tokyo Olympics e na may nagbigay sa akin ng Chooks-to-Go," expressed Velasco. "Talagang store ng Chooks-to-Go talaga. Hanap-buhay talaga na hindi lang ako makikinabang kung hindi pati pamilya ko at mga anak ko na ma-secure sila dahil sa binigay sa akin."
Other athletes that have been granted stores by Chooks-to-Go are 1990 Asian Games silver medalist Benjie Paras, two-time FIBA Asia Cup silver medalist Gabe Norwood, five-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kiefer Ravena, and University of the Philippines great Paul Desiderio.
Though it was a long-time coming, Velasco is just grateful to finally have a business he can call his own.
"Boss Ronald, talagang hulog ka po ng langit sa akin at sa buong pamilya ko dahil binigyan niyo po ako ng kabuhayan. Sana marami pa kayong matulungan na tulad ko."
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