|LYDIA DE VEGA, Asis's Sprint Queen, At her peak, she won 2 Asian Games|
Gold medals, won 3 SEA games Gold, qualified in 2 Olympics, and made a movie.
Lydia de Vega (b. 12 Dec. 1964), the glamor girl of 1980s Philippine sports, was the perfect endorser of two dairy brands in the late 1980 and early 1990s, in what was known as the golden age of Philippine athletics.
The fleet-footed Bulakenya, home trained by her father, made her presence felt at the 1981 Manila Southeast Asian (SEA) when she bagged Gold in the 200 and 400 meter events exceeding records set at the Asian Games.
It came as no surprise that at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, she won the premiere 100 m. dash, besting local star P.T. Usha. As if to prove that her win was not a fluke, she won another Asiad Gold at the next 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. She would also participate in 2 Summer Olympics: Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988). Throughout her stellar running career, she was dubbed as “Asia’s Sprint Queen”.
A year after her Seoul Olympics stint, de Vega took a 2 year break from athletics to get married, continue her studies and rest. She also finally found time to respond to endorsement deals, and in 1989, she was signed up ALASKA POWDERED MILK to do its milk campaign.
Alaska, the company, started in 1972 as Holland Milk Products, Inc. which first made liquid milk. It eventually expanded to manufacture powdered milk and UHT milk. ALASKA POWDERED MILK was launched in 1989, in a new campaign starred by de Vega. “Bring out a winner” was the thematic line, still anchored on its familiar “wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska” omnibus slogan.
Not long after that, after her contract with Alaska lapsed, Nestlé Philippines employed her as a presenter for their “Get your child into sports” public relations program, sponsored by their chocolate and malt beverage, MILO.
WATCH LYDIA DE VEGA'S MILO AD HERE:
courtesy of Filipino Athlete, uploaded 29 Dec. 2017
The product began in 1964, ad derived its name from the Greek mythological character Milo, famed for his strength. MILO has been using sports as its selling platform, and for years, latched on to its “Olympic energy theme”. It was also known for its sports clinics, marathons, and little Olympics.
Vega retired after competing at the 1994 Manila-Fujian Games where she bagged her final 100 meter Gold. She briefly forayed into politics and served as a councilor of Meycauayan town.
Since Dec. 2005, De Vega has been staying in Singapore where she coaches young collegiate athletes. Married to engineer Paul Mercado, she is a mother to Stephanie, a DLSU Lady Spikers and John Michael who tragically died in a 200 freak vehicle accident at age 4. On 22 November 2018, De Vega was inducted into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame at the Philippine International Convention Center.
|LYDIA DE VEGA, THEN & NOW. Source: India Today Magazine, |
News ABS-CBN Sports
youtube: Lydia De vega MILO advert from the 90s, by Filipino Athlete, Published on Dec 29, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lejbq4_Oq0
Image: Lydia de Vega in New Delhi:https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/special-report/story/19821231-asian-games-asiad-82-in-new-delhi-comes-to-a-glorious-end-772541-2013-07-29
Image: Lydia de vega, 2018 Hall of Fame