By Rene Saguisag/The Manila Times

OVER the weekend, Yuka Saso gave us a reason or ground to hail Philippine-Japan friendship.

Mabuhay at Banzai!!

At the highest levels of women's golf, Filipino Japanese Yuka Saso topped the US Women's Open. The prize: a cool million buckaroos and various competing privileges.

The venue of the last US Women's Open was the Olympic Club in San Francisco, where there is a two-acre park named after Victoria Manalo Draves, the petite Filipino diver who won two diving golds in the 1948 London Olympics. Victoria na Manalo pa. Unbeatable. (Yuka won two Asian Games golds in Indonesia in 2018.)

The new golfing champ is carrying the Philippine flag while Vicki carried the American banner, at a time when the zeitgeist was so pro-Caucasian. Today, if we look at our scorecard, Japan is our super friend, who can only get closer and higher with the Yuka Saso feat.

There was a song popular in my grade school days, "El Bobo de la Yuca." We have a cool smart competition in Yuka Saso. In those days of yore, Makati Elementary classmate Carlos Maquiraya would give me golf clubs and balls. I never took it up though, a capitalistic sport which uses a lot of space while countless Pinoys are landless and homeless.

Anyway, Mabuhay! and Banzai! Where talent is given and shines, we need to give aid, comfort and recognition galore the way we cheered when Phil Mickelson recently bagged a major at 50 when Yuka will have a longer river of memory so gentle on everyone's mind.