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Chooks-to-Go gives Onyok Velasco Chooks store franchise

Chooks-to-Go has given 1996 Summer Olympics silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. his own store for his service and giving honor to the country.

It can be recalled that in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, boxer Velasco won the country’s second-ever silver medal but he 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.

This did not go unnoticed by Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas.

Recently, Mascariñas invited Velasco to his office in Ortigas, saying that he only wanted to meet him. As a surprise to the boxer, he was given a gift in the form of his own Chooks-to-Go store that is located in Litex Road, Quezon City.

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.

“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 a long-delayed honeymoon in Boracay with his wife May.”

“Pinapunta ako dito ni Sir Ronald 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.”

In another development, Chooks-To-Go has pledged to give P100,000 monthly allowance to ailing Olympian Leopoldo Serantes as part of honoring sports heroes of the past by giving back to them.

Serantes, who won bronze in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, will receive P100,000 per month for life for his service to the country.

It’s a much-needed help for the 59-year-old native of Bicol as he is currently suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has been confined in Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

“Just like with Onyok Velasco, we cannot just forget the sports heroes that gave honor to our country in the past. We should continue to honor their legacy,” said the Chooks-to-Go president.

“In the case of Leopoldo Serantes, we decided to give him a monthly allowance of P100,000 for the rest of his life so that he can live with dignity befitting a living hero.”

Serantes, the sixth Filipino overall to win an Olympic medal and a gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games, is one of the childhood heroes of Velasco. Velasco was the one who helped Mascariñas track the whereabouts of Serantes after netizen Jhay San Antonio raised it on his Facebook page.

“Si Leopoldo Serantes, isa yang alamat sa boxing. Nung naguumpisa pa lang kami, nandiyan na siya. Siya na yung tinitingala na namin,” shared Velasco. “Nung nag-Olympics siya, dun na nagumpisa yung pagkaidolo namin sa kanya. Naka-medal siya tapos hindi rin siya ganun kalaking tao, maliit lang pero naka-medal at talagang malakas”.

“Naisipan ko na ilapit siya sa Chooks-to-Go kasi natulungan din ako. Si Serantes, nangangailangan din ng tulong. Nangangailangan talaga siya ng tulong.”

According to Leopoldo’s daughter Leodelia, her dad has been suffering from COPD for months. She further bared that their family had been struggling to cope with the expenses.

“Kailangan po niya ng suporta parang kailangan pa niya lumapit para tulungan siya ng iba,” said Leodelia. “Kaya ako, naawa po ako sa papa ko dahil pag nagkwekwento siya sa akin tungkol sa mga nabigay niyang karangalan noon pero ngayon parang binalewala po siya. Parang nilagay na lang siya sa isang tabi na hindi na siya kilala ng karamihan.”

“Sobrang laking tulong po nito para sa tatay ko. Hindi na siya mamomroblema sa araw-araw niya na gastusin para sa oxygen, sa gastusan niya sa gamutan na pang buhay,” she said.

“Maraming salamat Sir Ronald sa tulong niyo po sa papa ko. Malaking tulong po ito sa kanya. Maraming salamat po.”

“Sir Ronald, taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa inyo. Natulungan niyo po ang isang kapwa boksingero ko na nagmedal din sa Olympics. Nung nilapit ko sa inyo, hindi na kayong nagdalawang isip. Talagang approve kagad,” added Velasco.

“Kung nandito po si Leopoldo, baka sabihin niya, hulog rin kayo ng langit sa kanya.”

To help out Leopoldo Serantes, one can deposit funds to his personal bank account as well.

Leopoldo Serantes, Landbank savings account 2376111326.

By Jon Vicente

Written by Village Connect

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