Saso & Corpuz: Proud Pinay roots


FIRST was Yuka Saso. Followed by Allisen Corpuz.

Saso, 22, was the first with Filipino roots to win the US Women’s Open, the world’s most prestigious tournament on the distaff side.  Saso did it in 2021.

Corpuz, 25, duplicated that this year, carving out the feat only last weekend by firing a last-round 69 for a three-stroke win at the famed Pebble Beach in California, where legends Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus had lifted championship trophies as well.

While Saso has a Japanese for a father and a Filipino for a mother, Corpuz’s father is a Filipino married to a South Korean.

Saso, whose mother is from Bulacan, was born and raised in the Philippines.

After Saso’s US Open win, she adopted Japanese citizenship.

Some sectors pouted at the flag shift, citing Saso’s closeness to Filipino culture and moors more than Japan’s.  They were of the purist kind.  More of the ultra-nationalist, you might say.

But many agreed with Saso’s allegiance to Japan.  It’s her career on the line; her new passport allows her ease of travel anytime.

In short, Saso’s move was more of a commercial decision than anything.  A Japanese passport would bring her to tournaments around the world visa-free. We all know the hassles involved in securing a visa, if you hold a Philippine passport.  But the Japanese passport eliminates all of that. Powerful like the American passport.

Which brings me to the question:  Why not discard all visas altogether to make this world a better place for every one?

Come to think of it: Why persevere at all to make a country so beautiful and alluring—like America for example—only to subject those wishing to visit it into navigating rigid routes in securing a visa?  Insane, isn’t it?

Allisen Corpuz is fortunate to be an American citizen, having been born in Honolulu.  She’s likewise lucky that she had as caddy in the US Open Jay Monahan, a former professional golfer married to Allisen’s fellow Ladies Professional Golf Association campaigner, Jennifer Kupcho.

Corpuz’s breakthrough US Open victory was worth $2 million, the biggest prize in women’s golf history.

Will Kupcho grab Monahan back to caddy for her in her succeeding tournaments?   Ummm. Why not?

THAT’S IT With pole vault star EJ Obiena recently clinching for the Philippines the first ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, the likes of 2020 Olympic gold weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and world gymnast champion Carlos Yulo are likely to follow suit soon.  Include Kyla Sanchez, the Canadian transferee with swim medals to boot from the Tokyo Games in 2021, and Olympic boxing medalists Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio and Eumir Marcial.  More are expected to make it to Paris 2024. We never run out of talent.

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