Describe yourself :
Outside my sport, Iím a pretty laid back
person. I love chilling and just working on creative stuff. Iím
a person who also doesnít share his thoughts but my closest
friends know how vast my mind is or weird I can be. Sometimes
when iím at my weirdest and my mind is just running I can easily
write a poem or song in 5 minutes. Iím also a very competitive
person. It doesnít matter if its swimming, basketball,frisbee or
a simple game of table tennis I would make sure that Iíd give it
my best to win. I just love challenges in general, it doesnít
matter if its in the sport of swimming or in life. Challenges
gives me the adrenaline and thatÖmakes me feel alive.
What side or character of yours that would
most likely surprise others?
How crazy or weird I can be with the people
I trust,that iím poetic and an introvert.
What age did you start swimming? What
brought you to the sport of swimming?
I started the learn to swim program when I
was 8 and started training when I was around 9. My mom used to
tell me how she had problems because whenever we visit a pool, I
would often play to a point where I donít want to go home. That
I was happy the most when Iím in the water. When I was young, I
would also often get confined in a hospital due to a chronic
inflammatory disease or what you call asthma. The doctor
recommended swimming to my parents to make my lungs stronger and
hopefully suppress the disease.
During your early years of swimming, have
you ever thought that you will reach where you are now today as
a swimmer? Why?
Honestly, when I was younger I didnít give
as much thought about swimming.. I remember always being in the
last part of the names in the results. I remember praying that
if itís Godís will and He helped me, Iíll make sure to use the
platform to share His greatness. That was the start of me
wanting to reach somethingÖ I also used to train because I want
to spend time with my friends. Them being SEA AGE swimmers, I
had to work hard to make sure I donít get left behind while they
all go to other countries representing the Philippines. Only at
the age of 15 did I really fall in love with the sport and
started having goals and in that age I started claiming to God
that with Him, I can do anything and achieve my dreams.
What do you think are the factors that
makes you a successful swimmer?
If iíll share three things, itíll be
1. Faith Ė In some athletes, its self
belief, but in my caseÖ Its faith in God. That I have someone
greater than anything iíll ever face. That in Him, I find
strength, confidence and hope. Thatís why I donít have a limit
because my God is limitless.
2. Passion & self motivation Ė I love the
sport and Iím addicted to it. I love the fact that you have to
put in the effort to get something out in the meet. I love every
scientific part of the sport. Thereís this sensation that I feel
in swimming that makes me feel alive and it points to self
motivation. I believe that athletes have to have, not just outer
motivation from their coaches or parents but also, inner
motivation. That motivation or passion to go to the pool and
face that black T line every single day. To motivate themselves
to get the most out of each training. Itís not about how many
times you train in a week or a year but how much effort or
thought you put in every single day youíre in the pool. The
passion and motivation from yourself to improve your craft and
be better or be the best you can be.
3. Work ethic Ė As an athlete, you have to
know your strength but never view yourself as the best.
Consistency is key. I would always work hard in the pool,
because I know that my competitors from other countries are also
working hard. Growing up with coaches telling me that I wasnít
made to swim, that I lack heart when I compete, telling me that
its the end of my career, those things made me work harder and
taught me how not to be contented. Iím thankful to those
coaches, because if it wasnít for them I wouldnít want to be the
best. Swimming can be simple in a way that, what effort you put
in the training is what you get out in the meet. So working hard
is a must in the sport.
Whatís your most memorable experience as a
As a swimmer and as a person, my most
memorable experience would be back in 2009. The story is, a
coach who has the authority told me that my career would end if
I part ways with him, it made me rely on God in a way that I
dedicated my whole life and swimming to the Lord and when the
2009 SEA AGE came, a few months after the partingÖ even though
my prayer was only to make the people see how great my God is
and how He used me. God blessed me with more than what I prayed
for. I won gold in my last year even though I have never won a
medal in that said meet, God reconciled my relationship with the
coach as he hugged me and said heís proud of my swim and lastly
the president of the Philippine swimming held a meeting with the
parents and told them how he saw me pray before swimming and saw
how God helped me. It was memorable because it changed my whole
life and perspective. The latest one was last year in the FINA
SC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, being part of the historical relay.
Apart from being a Summer Olympian, what
is(are) your other goal(s) as a swimmer?
To influence other swimmers and Christians
to work hard for their dreams. To never stop believing and to
inspire generations. I believe that we humans all have the power
to influence. How we use it is something we should think about.
Was there ever a time that you thought of
quitting swimming? Why?
Never did. I may stop competitive swimming
but I wonít ever ďquitĒ the sport of swimming. Swimming is the
platform that God used to make me become closer to Him, its the
sport that taught me the most about life and its a good way to
stay healthy. So the pool will always have a special place in my
Who do you look up to as a swimmer? why?
I always check and observe or study how
Olympian champions swim, but Iíd say that the one I really look
up to in swimming would be my students. They inspire me to
become the best that I can be. They make me strive harder in
life so that I can continue to inspire them. Theyíre the closest
friends I have.
Any specific routines before and during the
meet or before a swim? what are these?
I would always start my meet or make sure I
read the Bible everyday. In the ready bench I would always pray
and focus on God, also stretch and keep myself loose. When Iím
behind the blocks, I have this routine where I slap my
chest, arms and legs to hype myself up followed by a prayer and a
finger pointing up the sky while looking at the sky. Its me
talking to God. leaving everything up to Him.
Please share some words of wisdom for
swimmers who wish to be like you.
1. Follow your dreams Ė No one said itíll
be easy, but every journey hardship and trial you face becomes
all worth it when you get there.
2. Step out in and by faith Ė In Psalms 11.
when adversity came and King David was being hunted by His own
son, his advisers told him to flee to a mountain, and in
response he told them Ē why do you tell me to flee like a bird
to a mountainĒ Have faith in God. that trial or circumstance
that youíre facing is small if you fix your eyes on God. Faith
can move mountains. Just allow God to help you, He will surprise
3. Have fun Ė We all started the sport
because we love it to begin with. Never lose sight of it. Try to
enjoy every training session. There is joy in working hard and
seeing the fruits of your labor.
Message to your supporters :
Thanks for always believing that anything
is possible. I appreciate every congratulations, good luck and
God bless that comes from you guys. It always fuels me to race
the best I can. God bless you guys always!