Nesthy Petecio was just praying for a bronze medal from her maiden Olympic campaign in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
Such a finish would already be an achievement that brings immense honor and pride to a country that, for ages, has been raring to witness a Filipino athlete be as successful as it can be in the grandest stage of them all.
But really, it was more than making an entire nation proud for the bemedaled featherweight. A bronze actually meant the realization of a dream.
“Actually po, bronze lang po ang hiniling ko sa Kanya,” said Petecio in a special edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
“Sabi ko, ‘Kahit bigyan mo ako ng bronze, Lord, mapauwi ko lang ‘yung mga ate ko na andito sa Japan.’ May panggastos ng pamasahe nila papuntang Pilipinas.”
A bronze would have landed her P6-million from the government, the MVP Sports Foundation, and the San Miguel Corporation, plus a little bit more.
By winning silver, the windfall has increased to P15-million plus a P10-million condo in Davao. She also receives another P2.5-million house and lot in Caliya, Candelaria.
Thus, the exhilaration she felt when she was assured of a bronze finish by way of a unanimous decision victory over Colombia’s Yeni Arias Castaneda in the women’s featherweight quarterfinals last week.
“Kaya grabe po ‘yung nung nanalo ako ng bronze. Tumawag po agad ako kay ate ko na maiuuwi ko na kayo sa Pilipinas, may panggastos na ako pauwi sa inyo,” said the 29-year-old from Davao del Sur.
But she received more than what she prayed for. On Tuesday, Petecio settled for silver after bowing to Japanese counterpart Sena Irie in the final, giving the Philippines its second medal of the Tokyo Games.
“Sobrang proud at blessed po ako sa nakuha ko po. Lagi pong sinasabi ng coaches ko na hindi po ganoon kadali ang makatungtong dito at lalong-lalo na ang makakuha ng medalya,” she expressed.
Beyond the historic feat, though, nothing makes Petecio even happier that she will finally have her family back together.
“Sobrang napakahalaga po sa akin nun kasi family-oriented po ako,” she said.
“Sila po ‘yung lakas ko, sila po ‘yung kahinaan ko. So gusto kong makasama po sila, kahit ilang araw lang po mabuo kami.”