Filipina pride Hidilyn Diaz and her firsts

Barry Viloria on Aug 24, 2016 03:44 PM
Filipina pride Hidilyn Diaz and her firsts
From her first crush to the first Precious Heart Romances book she’s read, know more about this Olympian winner! (Photos taken from Diaz' Instagram account: @haidie2010)

We thought her sight would intimidate us (because, honestly, who wouldn’t be so seeing for the first time a woman who can lift like she does and win a medal for it?), but the impression was nothing like that meeting Olympian Hidilyn Diaz. Some days after her historic win at the Rio Olympics, we get to meet the Filipina pride at a photo shoot for a magazine feature she’ll soon appear in.

“Na-shock ako sa pag-welcome ng mga tao,” says Hidilyn, nothing so imposing at 5’2” and with an unassuming demeanor. She speaks rather calmly, even in a schedule so tight any normal person would bustle—we had 10 minutes to talk, because that’s all she has.

“Di pa ako nakakapagrelaks,” she notes, as she is presently hopping from one celebration to another. In just a span of days ever since her arrival, the Armed Forces of the Philippines honored the Airwoman 1st Class with a plaque of recognition; world boxer and chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports Manny Pacquiao paid tribute to her during a courtesy visit in the Senate; and AirAsia awarded her with free flights for five years. There are still other commitments pending, too.

These perks, beyond what Hidilyn is getting from the Philippine Sports Commission as part of the silver medalist’s world feat: P5 million cash, and a house and lot.

She pauses when asked about her prizes, “Siguro, kasi di pa ‘ko masyado (iniisip) yung sa financial (matters). Di ko pa din nakuha yung pera, at walang pang time.”

“Tsaka ayoko ding masyadong attached sa pera.”

Visibly overwhelmed at all these firsts, we go ahead and turn the conversation around by asking about her other firsts in life. Think Hidilyn is all this modesty and seriousness? She can be into fun and hugot, too!

The first time she held a barbell: “Eleven ako nun—dahil sa mga pinsan ko.”
The first celebrity she took a photo with: “Manny Pacquiao!”
The first time she had a crush on someone: “Grade 5 ako nun. Crush-crush lang! Ha ha!”
The first sport she ever got into: “Weightlifting, wala, yun lang. Ngayon, nag-mountain bike lang ako.”
The first song she sang in public: “(Sings Luha by Aegis) Akala ko ikaw ay akin! Sa karaoke lang, sa bahay. Ha ha!”
The first time she danced in public: “JS Prom!”
The first thing she does every morning: “Nagdadasal. Gising nako ng 5:45.”
The first thing she did after winning: “Nag-give praise kay God.”
The first thing she did when she landed in Manila: “Nag-Sign of the Cross.”
The first thing she did when she landed in Zamboanga City: “Nag-smile.”
The first book she’s read: “Marami nakong binabasa dati na Precious Hearts Romances. Dati yun, nung bata ako. Ayoko na nga sya ngayon, wala akong natutunan! Ha ha!”

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