FILIPINA-Japanese golfer Saso further championed the values of her two roots, serving as the rightful ambassador of a first Japanese store in the Philippines in her much-awaited return to the country.

A former US Women’s Open Champion, the 21-year-old ace graced the soft opening of Mitsukoshi, Japan’s flagship mall, in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig — where she also hosted a mini tournament for the aspiring Filipino junior golfers.

Saso swung beautifully and hard in the tee-off ceremony through a digital golf simulator, signifying a stronger Philippine-Japan partnership in the 50th anniversary of Federal Land, the premier state developer behind the making of the country’s first-ever Mitsukoshi.

“It’s one of my favorite stores in Japan. I’m so honored. Just by walking through today, they are really bringing the best of Japan to the Philippines,” said Saso on the breakthrough establishment in partnership with Japanese firms Nomura Real Estate Development Co. Ltd. and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd.

“Her Filipino-Japanese heritage is an embodiment of discipline, perseverance, and excellence, which mirrors our partnerships’ commitment to provide unique living experiences within our developments,” added Federal Land President and COO Thomas Mirasol.

With this new venture, Saso — also an Olympian and Asian Games gold medalist — is anticipated to swing to greater heights even against fancied bets in the international fairway next year after her first full year in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). — John Bryan Ulanday