Hidilyn Diaz has done it again.
Our first Olympic gold medalist, our “golden girl”, makes us proud and inspired as she shares the story of her humble beginnings in a short film by a fast food giant.
The short film, posted on YouTube on Oct. 15, shows how Diaz persevered and never gave up – even if she failed, even if some people told her “hindi ito para sa’yo” – until she clinched her golden dream.
“Ang gamit kong weights noon ay mga gallon ng tubig. Mayroon akong mahabang bakal, ‘yun ang bar ko, tapos sa magkabila ay mga bote na may lamang tubig o kaya buhangin,” related the 30-year-old weightlifter. There were a lot of challenges at the start of her career, she shared, and many instances when she wanted to give up. But these did not discourage her.
She lifted herself until she was able to lift the nation.
After she ended her run at the 2012 London Olympics with an official result of “Did not finish” (DNF), she worked harder and bagged the silver medal four years later in Rio.
“Noong nanalo ako sa Rio, doon mas naging malinaw sa akin na maraming nakababatang atleta na nakatingin sa akin para sa inspirasyon. Kaya sabi ko, hindi ako pwedeng sumuko. Ilalaban ko hanggang makuha natin ang pinakamimithing ginto,” shared Diaz.
Reliving the winning moment
The image of Diaz clenching her fists in victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will forever be remembered by the nation, which she got to relive in the Pepe Diokno-directed short film for Kwentong Jollibee, titled “Ginto”.
When asked how it was like re-enacting her own journey, she said, “Bumalik lahat ng emotions — ‘yung saya, ‘yung hirap, at ‘yung pagpapalakas ng mga tao na tumulong sa akin para maabot ko yung pangarap ko.”
“Masaya dahil ibang experience din for me ‘yung mag-act, and rewarding dahil nakita ko ‘yung personal journey ko through another lens,” she added.
When she first saw the film in full, Diaz revealed tearing up upon seeing the support of fellow Filipinos. “Lalo na yung doon sa part na chini-cheer ako ng mga frontliners, ng mga bata. Masaya po ako na na-inspire ko sila gaya ng pag-inspire nila sa akin.”
A light in these dark times
Long-time Kwentong Jollibee director Pepe Diokno shared how great an honor it was working on the new short film.
“I’ve done a lot of Kwentong Jollibee films, and each story is different,” he related. “But what sets ‘Ginto’ apart is that it’s a story of a sports icon that’s being revealed to the world. Hidilyn’s journey to success is the inspiration we need in these difficult times, and I treasure that I was able to do it with her and, of course, Jollibee.”
As of this writing, “Ginto: A Hidilyn Diaz Kwentong Jollibee Special” has over 4 million views on Jollibee Studios’ YouTube page and more than 4.5 million views on Facebook. The short film was done in collaboration with the chain’s partner agency, McCann Worldgroup Philippines.
What’s next after gold
Now that she got her dream, the thing she worked hard for, what does Hidilyn Diaz want next?
“Gusto ko po makatapos ng aking studies,” she said. She is currently taking up Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
“Gusto ko po makuha ang aking diploma at makapag-develop pa ng training schools para sa mga aspiring na atleta gaya ko noong nag-uumpisa ako. Weightlifting ang passion ko at gusto kong i-share ito sa mga kabataan,” added Diaz.
She also mentioned plans of setting up an outreach activity similar to a community pantry in the coming months.
And, of course, she is preparing to tie the knot with her boyfriend and trainer, Julius Naranjo who recently proposed to her with a custom-made engagement ring (by Manila Diamond Studio) with a diamond set on a gold barbell.
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