“Hindi ako puwedeng mag-give up dahil kailangan nila ng pag-asa.”
(I can’t give up because the younger generation needs hope.)
These were the words of Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz during her brief interaction with former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo (BTS) sa Kongreso on Friday, August 27.
“Kasi siyempre ngayon, nasa pandemya tayo eh, then may isang Hidilyn Diaz na silver medalist na maglalaro sa Tokyo 2020 na nag-give up. So, hindi magandang ehemplo y’un sa mga kabataan. Sabi ko, hoping, na gagamitin ako ni God para maging inspirasyon at magbigay ng pag-asa sa mga followers [ko] at mga young generation,” Diaz said.
(Imagine being in a pandemic and finding out that there’s a Hidilyn Diaz, a silver medalist who was set to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but who chose to give up. That wouldn’t have been a good example for the youth. So I said to myself, maybe this is God’s way of using me to inspire and give hope to my followers and to the young generation.)
During her visit to Cayetano’s weekly online show Sari-saring Pag-asa on August 27, Diaz narrated how she almost gave up due to the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan and how putting her faith in God and in her team (dubbed Team HD) helped her stay on the right track.
“Sa totoo lang po, noong sinabi na hindi na matutuloy y’ung Olympics, medyo nawalan ako ng motivation. Nawalan ako ng direksyon, kasi nga sa Nat Team, y’un y’ung ine-aim namin. So, last year, inisip ko, ‘Bakit? Bakit ko ‘to ginagawa?’” Diaz said.
(To be honest, when they said the Olympics would be postponed, I somewhat lost motivation. I lost direction, because that’s what we in the National Team were aiming for. Last year I was asking myself, ‘Why? Why do I do this?’”)
“So, bumalik ako sa ‘why’ – na ito y’ung sports na ibinigay sa’kin ni God. Kasi kung maggi-give up ako, hindi magiging maganda y’ung impluwensya ko sa mga kabataan,” she added.
(So, I returned to the ‘why’ – because this is the sport God gave me. Because if I were to give up, then that wouldn’t be a good influence on the youth.)
Diaz also narrated her journey to the Olympics, especially the challenges she had to face and the sacrifices she had to make to win the Olympic gold medal.
She said among the challenges were studying the sport, not being with her family, having the burden to pay for the food expenses, and training everyday.
“May sakit, may mga luha, at hirap sa training, so y’un, mga sakripisyo ng mga atleta,” she said.
(There is pain, a lot of tears, and hardships in training. Those are the sacrifices of the athletes.)
However, Diaz powered through, keeping in mind her team and the whole nation supporting her.
“Alam naman natin, as an athlete, y’ung attitude ng athlete ay hindi talaga sumusuko. Hangga’t kaya, hindi susuko,” she said.
(We know that the attitude of an athlete is never to give up. As long as we can still do it, we don’t give up.)
Sari-saring Pag-asa in Zamboanga
Meanwhile, Cayetano said he and his allies are rewarding Diaz with the chance to choose 1,000 sari-sari stores in Zamboanga City, where Diaz was born and raised, that would receive assistance.
“We will give you 1,000 sari-sari stores na bibigyan namin ng P3,500 each sa hometown mo para mabuhay y’ung kanilang negosyo, kasi maraming naubusan na,” Cayetano said.
(We will give 1,000 sari-sari stores with P3,500 each in your hometown so they can boost their businesses, because many sari-sari stores have lost their income.)
The “Alan’s Sari-Sari Store Community” program is the brainchild of Cayetano and his wife Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano to provide struggling sari-sari store owners with P3,500 — P2,500 for restocking and P1,000 for meeting their family’s basic needs.
If the beneficiaries are able to grow their own businesses after a month, they will receive an additional P6,500.
The second phase of the program is livelihood training for the beneficiaries.###