Press Release
February 6, 2023

Pia relates Carlos Yulo speech to ongoing debates on the mandatory ROTC bill: Caloy embodies youthful discipline, inspires nationalism

Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like to start this short speech of mine, a show of support for Carlos Yulo, with how I got inspired by gymnastics.

I was a 15-year-old varsity volleyball player in UP, that was 1981, and the Southeast Asian Games was held in the Philippines. And the gymnastics competition was in the gym, in the UP gym, where I was training. And they performed there, and the star of the show was no other than our own Bea Lucero. And so, before that, I'd just see her on TV. But to see this person, this gymnast, I think she was 11 years old at that time, performing before our eyes, was a sight to behold.

Fast forward, we now have Carlos Yulo. And along with him here today, Mr President, are his teammates, Juancho Miguel Besana, tayo ka, and Justin Ace De Leon, and of course, the woman behind these athletes, Gymnastics Association Philippines President, Cynthia Carreon.

It's on record, hindi ko na uulit-ulitin pa ang accomplishments mo, Carlos. You are an inspiration to everyone, not just gymnastics, but athletes, young people, legislators like us.

But what I'd like to point out, your honor, is yung timing din ng pagpunta dito ni Carlos. And at the time that we are debating this, we, everyone who spoke, refer to the 'discipline' that he brings to the table. The discipline that he has to have every day. I asked him, how many hours a day ang training? Dear colleagues, it's 5-6 hours a day. Take that in, 5-6 hours a day. And Carlos trains in Japan, away from his family and loved ones. The last time I checked sa social media, may loved one talaga si Carlos na mahal niya sa puso niya, girlfriend niya sa madaling salita. And he has to be away from her also for this training. This is the kind of discipline that he brings, the kind of discipline that the Senate President knows, because the Senate President has also been a national athlete competing at the highest level.

And I say this at the time that we are discussing the ROTC bill, because discipline can come in many disciplines, in many ways. And when we honor these athletes, it is proof to all of us that sports breeds the kind of Filipinos that we want, the kind of Filipinos that we cheer for, the kind of Filipinos that dedicate their life. Hindi pa ba yan yun? Dedicating his life to his passion, to bring pride to the Philippines.

So on that note, Carlos, maraming salamat. Pati sa teammates mo, ipagpatuloy ng mga Filipino athletes ang ginagawa nila because we are so proud. We stop what we do to watch these athletes in what they do best because it brings all of us pride.

Maraming salamat, Mr. President.

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