HIDILYN Diaz arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday following her successful campaign in Tokyo in which she secured the first-ever gold medal of the country in the Olympic Games.
The plane, Philippine Airlines flight PR-427, carrying Diaz as well as her team, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, and a few officials touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 at 5:51 p.m.
Diaz was still greeted with several supporters at the terminal despite the absence of a hero's welcome due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clad in a Philippine Air Force uniform after a quick change, Diaz also paid a virtual courtesy call with President Duterte shortly after being welcomed by Interior and Local Government secretary Eduardo Año, PAF commanding general Allen Paredes, and Philippine Sports Commission commissioners Charles Maxey and Celia Kiram at the airport.
During the virtual courtesy call, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque even took time to take a 'virtual selfie,' a photo of which he posted on his social media account.
The 30-year-old Diaz will be brought to Sofitel Philippine Plaza to undergo a seven-day quarantine, as part of government regulations during the pandemic.
This will actually be the first time in more than a year that Diaz has set foot in the Philippines. Early in 2020, Diaz held his training camp in Malaysia but was forced to stay for an extended period due to the lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the postponement of the Olympics, Diaz continued to stay in Malaysia for her Olympic training. She flew to Uzbekistan early in 2021 for the Asian Weightlifting Championship where she officially secured an Olympic berth.
Diaz returned to Malaysia for the final build-up for the Olympics.