Describe yourself :
Ambitious, Competitive, Risk-taker,
Enthusiastic, Creative and Business minded.
What side or character of yours that would
most likely surprise others?
Aside from representing the country in
swimming, I also represented the Philippines in a Sustainability
competition in Singapore. I also compete in hacking and startup
competitions. I am also taking up a astrobiology course in
Harvard Edx for fun.
What age did you start swimming? What
brought you to the sport of swimming?
I started at the age of 3. I guess my
family wanted me to try out the sport seeing that my cousin, Jay
Bautista, garnered several medals in swimming, and for the fact
that I nearly drowned in my grandmother’s pool. Good ol’ days.
During your early years of swimming, have
you ever thought that you will reach where you are now today as
a swimmer? Why?
I used to be the absolute worst on my team
back then. My teammate, Brandon Sing would always beat me in
practice no matter how hard I trained. It came to a point that I
even asked my coach if this was really the sport for me. He told
me “If you wanted to be great at something, be prepared to be
bad at it first.” I trained hard at every session even up to the
point that I would puke in practice. By the time I was 5-6 years
old, the medals finally came. At a young age, I learned that
with perseverance and hard work, people could achieve their
dreams. That’s when I knew.
What do you think are the factors that make
you a successful swimmer?
The right mentality towards goal setting,
having an open mind when it comes to criticisms and most
importantly, the killer instinct to win.
What is your most memorable experience as a
Throughout my career, there have been too
many memorable experiences. My first SEA AGE group where the
whole team shaved my head, winning medals and trophies, getting
called on stage in school. Winning in the Hong Kong Mantas
events were my favorite. Most of all I just loved the feeling of
winning and making my family and coaches proud.
I remember a time back back in 2005. The
Philippines hosted the SEA Games and I gladly traveled to Trace
with my teammates to watch. I was being cocky at the event
because just weeks ago, I had won a competition in my school. I
thought I was on top of the world. Then, there was this one guy
that everyone was talking about. His name was Miguel Molina. My
coach then introduced me to him and the first thing I said was.
“ Kaya ba niya mag 32 sa 50 free?” ( Can he do a 32 in the 50
meters free like me?) After that, my coach laughed at me and he
made me watch Molina swim. Silly me, I still don’t know why I
said that up to this day.
Apart from being a Youth Olympian, what is
(are) your other goal(s) as a swimmer?
According to the WHO ( World Health
Organization ) drowning is the 3rd leading cause of
unintentional injury death in the world. I want to inspire other
people to learn how to swim for safety purposes. Also swimming
has numerous health benefits that come along with it.
Was there ever a time that you thought of
quitting swimming? Why?
It got boring for me. Countless of laps
everyday, six days a week. Sometimes even twice a day. I told
myself, there is more to my life than this. So I started
constantly going out with friends, partying every week. But
something always brought me back, maybe it was my coach, my
team, or maybe because I was getting fat. Maybe it was the
feeling of achieving something worthwhile. Maybe? We could never
know. A wise man once told me “ Swimming is only a stepping
stone, the values that the sport ingrained within you will aid
you in what you are destined to become. “ Up to this day, I
still learn from the sport.
Who do you look up to as a swimmer? Why?
I look up to all the great athletes. I try
my best to study their game in order to make myself even better.
My teammates The past legends of PCA Luica Dacanay, Enchong Dee.
The past legends of Xavier School. The Philippine swimming
legends and my past coaches Caloy Garcia, Coach Smith Coach
Hazel and Coach Remyr who believed in my capabilities from the
Any specific routines before and during the
meet or before a swim? What are these?
I warm-up, stretch, move around and I just
pray to God that I do my best.
Please share some words of wisdom for
swimmers who wish to be like you :
On big meets: Focus on the things that you
can control like your battle plan. Never let distractions get
into your head and hinder your success. Always remember to have
fun and make new friends but never shy away from your goal.
On quitting: The feeling of quitting is
natural. Like this quote from X-Men “ Just because someone
stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost
forever. Sometimes, you have to get lost and in the process find
yourself and come back stronger.
Message to your supporters :
Hey everyone! I would like to thank you for
all the years of support throughout my career. I will try even
harder to make you guys even prouder.