Just like other Filipino sporting greats, Yuka Saso will also have her own commemorative stamp as a fitting tribute to her achievement as the first Filipino and youngest player to win the prestigious Women’s US Open golf.
The Philippine Postal Office (PhilPost) began the release of the stamps featuring the 20-year-old Filipina-Japanese golf sensation, who was the youngest player ever to bag the coveted trophy in 2021.
She actually tied South Korean Park Inbee as the youngest US Open champion at 19 years old, 11 months, and 17 days old. Park was 19 when she won in 2008.
The stamps feature the winning moments of Saso and a photo holding her Harton S. Semple Championship Trophy.
“We commend her (Saso) for her hard work, perseverance and dedication to remain humble despite here achievements,” said Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio.
Saso is in town to visit her friends and relatives in Bulacan and Manila as well as prepare for the resumption of her LPGA campaign in Singapore and Thailand in March.
Meeting the Filipino press on Monday night at the Solaire Resort and Casino, Saso vowed that she will forever remain a Filipino at heart.
“I’m super proud of being half-Japanese, half-Filipino, and that will never change,” said the ICTSI-backed ace. “I’ll be forever Filipino.”
Saso carried the Philippine flag when she won the major golf tourney in June last year as a dual citizen with a Filipino mother and Japanese father.
Unfortunately, Japanese law prevented her from carrying dual citizenship and her choice of Japanese passport was necessary in her professional golf career, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The Japanese passport is considered the most powerful passport in the world in terms of travel freedom.
According to the Henley Passport Index as of January 2022, Japanese citizens can travel to 192 countries and territories even without a visa. They are tied with Singaporeans at the top with the same level of access.
Before Saso, the PhilPost honored Tokyo Olympics gold medalists Hidilyn Diaz, silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial.
Basketball legends Sonny Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez, bowling Hall-of-Famers Bong Coo and Paeng Nepomuceno, and billiards master Efren “Bata” Reyes were also honored with their own commemorative stamps.