Bayani para sa bayani

Being a 69-year old senior citizen on extended community quarantine, I was up and about at 3 a.m., my thoughts awake as early as an hour earlier. This ECQ has given me the gift of time. It has given most of us that gift. A welcome respite from the brisk schedules we usually keep. These days, we are called to the service of our dear country by staying home.

A small brave segment of society, however, keeps fighting at the frontlines and I take my hat off to them. Thank you for your service. I keep you in my humble prayers each time. My heart bleeds for the lives we unnecessarily lost to this fight. I commend your souls to our Lord in prayer.

I worry about our athletes. Like a father who thinks about his children all scattered in different places, I worry about them. As a leader of the government’s sports agency, I have instructed concerned officers to keep updated on our athlete’s status.

We are still taking care of a number of them at the Philsports Complex, with most of them quarantined at their own homes.

The impact of COVID-19 on sports resulted in the postponement or cancellation of so many events locally and globally, postponed competitions resulting to lost revenue and wasted investments for some, and lost opportunity for our athletes.

Abnormal times are our present normal making some of us physically, emotionally and mentally drained.

When I was still teaching, I often talked about “The Hierarchy of Needs of Abraham Maslow.” At the base of that is psychology followed by safety. Both are important for all of us to survive this.

The PSC’s Sports Psychology Unit is creating a guideline to help our athletes keep in proper mindset while on ECQ. In the meantime, allow me to share the following thoughts which I hope could help you get by during these trying times:
1. Pray.
2. Use this time to connect with friends, family, God and your self.
3. Like so many things in life, technology may either be a boon or a bane. Use it constructively. Keep informed, yes, but with the right information.
4. Avoid negative content
5. All of the above helps us greatly to keep a positive mindset. A big part of the battle is keeping your wits about.
6. Set-up a daily routine. This will help you keep your focus and face each day with intent and purpose.
7. Reach out to people who can give you support to shore up your spirit.

Go to your God. Learn the value of meditation. Learn to talk to your self. DISCERN.

If you ever feel lost or alone in the course of this ECQ, go back to what sports have taught you. Parang sa training, show determination. Parang preparation sa championship, keep your focus and calm.

Keep your eyes on the prize, as we always say in sports. I am worried, yes, pero may tiwala ako sa mga atleta natin.

Alam kong palaban kayo at may mga life skills that are fortified and made strong with the values that sports has instilled in you – fortitude, discipline, respect, and courage.

Do things for the betterment of the community. I have seen some of you contributing what you can. My heart swells with pride to see our sports heroes supporting our heroes in this fight. Bayani para sa bayani. Salamat sa inyo.