Jade Dalere
Cordillera Administrative Region

Runs with self-discipline. Takes off with eagerness. Flights with inspiration. Lands with humbleness.

With the theme “Shaping the future through sports,” the 2019 Palarong Pambansa marked another journey for the athletes—to meet their own sports heroes. At the wide field of the University of Mindanao (Matina Campus), jumpers from different regions gathered to see their very own hero. With wide smiles on their faces and excitement in their eyes, they welcomed the Long Jump Queen, Elma Muros-Posadas.

Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat,” she started with a smile. That smile on her face opened up the eagerness of these young athletes to pursue more. Being an athlete while studying is not that easy; one needs to stand alone while away from their parents.

“Love what you are doing no matter what event you are into. Don’t belittle long jump, because it is just a long jump,” she emphasized. Elma won a total of 15 golds in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

She shared that determination is needed when you’re an athlete. Be the front runner yourself. “Harapin ang hirap ng buhay, dapat hindi nagsasawa ang isang atleta, dapat mahalin niyo ang talento niyo,” she uttered. By that time when you’re at the midst of giving up, remember what you have started and the fact that athletes don’t give up.

“Lahat ng bagay may katapusan, kaya samantalahin n’yo dahil dito aahon ang buhay n’yo,” Elma emotionally cried as she reminisced her university days at the Far Eastern University (FEU). Waking up that early to ride the train, going to school with an empty stomach, being unaware of the lesson and physically and mentally tired, were never a hindrance for her to become what she is today. It is all a matter of balance. Finish your studies because having a degree would make a big difference.

LANDS WITH HUMBLENESS. Athletic Superstar Elma Muros-Posadas demonstrates the proper way of leaping together with the athletes from various regions during the Sports Heroes Engagement held at University of Mindanao Sports Complex, April 27. PHOTO BY EZRA DUMALLEG

She also shared one fun thing about being athletes—they also are commercial models. “Hindi man ako artista pero feeling ko naging artista ako eh,” she chuckled. They are commercial models themselves as seen in television. “Kahit sabihin mong Safeguard lang ‘yan, Tide lang ‘yan,” she added.

Callouses build athletes. “Dahil sa mga kalyo ng mga paa at kamay ko na naging mukhang lalaki ako—tayong mga babae—natulungan ko ang pamilya ko,” she encouraged female athletes.

After minutes of talks and applauses with the young jumpers, it was time for them to have a match. At the white sand along the wide field, they had the chance to jump with their hero that gave chills to their bones. Another inspiration has come to embolden these aspirants.

Masaya po ako, na-excite nung nakita siya,” Ezekiel Balyao, a 12-year-old athlete from Cordillera Administrative Region delegation shared. “Gusto ko pong sumunod sa yapak niya,” he added with a strong willingness.

Elma’s words of wisdom are jumping higher than her jumps in the SEA Games in the minds and hearts of these young ones. She even said that these athletes have the potential to be the icons of the future. Through sports, it is not just the skills and characters that are being made, but also the future.

Pain and patience are part of an athlete’s life. “Sana huwag silang sumuko, ilabas nila ang tunay na galing nila. Tandaan ang tiyaga, disiplina, at respeto. Grab the opportunity—kung para sa kanila, para sa kanila,” she concluded with glee.