Chooks-to-Go honored another Olympic medalist by giving him a business he can call his own.
Like his younger brother Onyok Velasco, Roel, the bronze medalist in the 1992 Summer Olympics’ men’s light flyweight tournament, was given his very own Chooks-to-Go store for giving honor and pride to the country.
But for Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas, Roel is a “loyal soldier” to the country as after his in-ring career, he continued to serve the country as one of the coaches of the Philippine National Boxing Team.
“What astonished me about Roel is that he is a loyal soldier to the country. Though it’s been 29 years since his feat in Barcelona, his legacy continues to live on in our boxers today,” said Mascariñas.
“For years, he and his brother Boy have been identifying, grooming, and developing our boxers. And with their help, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam were able to win silver in Tokyo while Eumir Marcial won bronze in a stacked middleweight division,” the sportsman continued. “Roel truly is a Manok ng Bayan.”
Up to this day, Roel has regrets over what transpired in Barcelona.
What astonished me about Roel is that he is a loyal soldier to the country. Though it’s been 29 years since his feat in Barcelona, his legacy continues to live on in our boxers today.Ronald Mascariñas
Coming in as the third seed, he blasted Kenya’s James Wanene, India’s Rajendra Prasad, and Great Britain’s Rowan Williams to punch his ticket to the medal rounds. But in the semifinals, he was stopped by eventual gold medalist Rogelio Marcelo of Cuba due to a cut he sustained that forced him to settle for bronze.
“Minsan manghihinayang ka. Kung nanalo ako, ako sana ‘yung nakatayo sa number one na place. Pero tuwang-tuwa pa rin ako sa natanggap ko,” said the now 49-year-old native of Bago, Negros Occidental.
That is why he makes sure that he leaves no stones unturned when preparing the country’s boxers for any tournament.
“Hanga ako sa mga performance ng mga boxer natin. Nakita ko ‘yung sakripisyo nila para sa pamilya nila,” he continued.
For Roel, being given his own Chooks-to-Go store is like winning gold. And he lauds the company for never forgetting the contributions athletes like him brought to the country.
“Sir Ronald, maraming salamat sa ‘yo. Kahit na matagal na panahon na ang nakalilipas, ikaw lang ang nakaalala sa atletang Pilipino na nagbigay ng parangal sa Olympiada at sa mga lahat ng mamamayan na nangangailangan ng tulong mo, nandiyan ka para tumulong at sumuporta,” expressed Roel.
“Talagang hindi mo pinababayaan ang mga kababayan natin.”
“Alam mo, noong una, hindi ako makapaniwala. Nakakatindig-balahibo talaga kaya sinabi ko na hulog ng langit si Sir Ronald sa akin. Hindi lang ako ang may-ari ng store kung hindi pati kuya ko,” added Roel’s brother Onyok.
Earlier this week, 1988 Olympic bronze medalist Leopoldo Serantes also received a ₱100,000 monthly allowance for life from Chooks-to-Go.