Nasaan Yung Flag?

Photo by akeán2®

“Nasan yung flag?” Those three words changed my whole definition of Pinoy/Pinay pride forever.

Earlier tonight, a Filipina warrior battled her way for gold in the World Jiu Jitsu Championships in Long Beach, CA. Dressed in her white gi with a patch of the Philippine flag, she took down her opponents on her way to being crowned the world champion in her division. I may not know a whole lot about Jiu Jitsu but I’m pretty sure being crowned world champion is a pretty big deal.

However, watching her take her opponents down and being champion is not the reason for this article. Why she fights the way she does is the reason why I felt compelled in writing this.

A couple of days before she was scheduled to fight, my wife and I had the privilege of meeting this warrior. When we asked her if there was something that she needs or if there was anything we can do to help her prepare, she just politely said no.

Jokingly, my wife told her that we have a flag of the Philippines, and we can bring it when we watch her fight. With a smile on her face, that’s when she said, “please, pakidala nung flag”.

Thinking nothing of it, we told her we will surely bring the flag and that we will see her in a couple of days and wished her luck.

Along with her team mates and family members, we watched this brave soul battle her way to the gold. After her hand was raised for the final time, she was then summoned to the podium to receive her gold medal.

As she stood with pride to receive her medal, she looked at her team and uttered the words, “nasa’n yung flag?” The flag was handed to her and with pride she then draped the flag of the Philippines around her shoulder. This is when her sister, explained to us what the flag means to her.

Her sister explained that whenever she steps on the mat, she thinks about all the oppression that Filipinos and the Philippines have endured on the hands of other countries and she uses that as her drive to make sure she does well so that she can bring honor to the country.

Philippine flag photo
Photo by akeán2®

Her sister also stated, “feeling kasi niya, pag nananalo siya or if she does well, naigaganti niya lahat ng Pilipino na naaapi.”

After the medal ceremony, she simply changed back to her street clothes and went to a simple dinner along with her team mates. After the dinner, they went back to their hotel rooms and that’s how unceremonious this world champion ended her night.

I do understand that there are other athletes like her out there who fight for the Philippines and get absolutely no recognition. Maybe with the power of social media we can change that. Maybe it’s time for these athletes to be recognized and to be given the honor that they deserve. They fight for the Philippines and for the Filipinos, maybe it’s time for the Filipinos and for the Philippines to fight for them.

6 Comments

  1. Because the Media is too busy with this so called mainstream tag ” Filipino roots(that has left their citizenship and migrate)” to random foreign country gets recognition for achieving things in favor to the country they now serve.

    I love this article, way different than other mediocre news with “proud to be pinoy” tagline.
    This one is indeed something to be proud of, congratulations to Meggie Ochoa!!

  2. Her name is Meggie Ochoa from Atos Philippines. The reason why I did not mention her name in this article is because I did not want to just focus on her but to give recognition to all the athletes who compete in the name of the country but yet get absolutely no support and no recognition. Meggie and her team mates had to raise funds their own way in order to compete and yet they proudly represent the Philippines whenever they step on the mat. Again, I understand that Meggie and her team mates are not the only one who does that but isn’t there something that can be done about that whole situation? When celebrities change their hair cut or have a break up, it’s on news articles for weeks. But when our athletes bring honor to the country, they are lucky if they can get 10 lines in the last page of a publication nobody reads. If mainstream media do not want to write about them, maybe social media can do a better job at it.

    Below is the picture of the champ proudly representing our country.

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