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Open letter to JM

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AN open letter to my son Justin Miguel:

Son, another year has gone by. But here I am still holding it together and tickling your heart with some inspirational messages.

Two years ago (2015), you started an ambitious journey in school athletics at Philadelphia High School, suiting up the Panthers colors not only in basketball but also in long-distance running.

At the time, you dad did not even think you could dribble a rock since you never played basketball till you were nine years old. You were reed-thin and small, too. Yes, I know you can run a thousand miles, just like your mom and dad being quick and agile during their heyday.

Months later, at age 13 and in Grade 7 (first year high school), you were also called upon to try the tracks even without any experience in competitive running and sans much training (perhaps only due to your blazing speed and endurance). You took part in the 2016 Metropolitan Amateur Athletic Association (MASA) Track and Field Championships at the University of Life (Ultra) in Pasig City on January 31, 2016, punching in entries in the 800-meter run, where you ranked 10th at 3:00.9 (and all the runners ahead of you being three years older); 1,500-meter run, where you placed eighth at 5:48.6 (and all seven runners ahead of you being three years older than you); and finally, a breakthrough in the 3000-meter steeplechase event, where you won the BRONZE medal with a time of 13:31.6, trailing only a couple of 16-year-olds from Philippine Cultural College.

That was awesome!

Two months later, in the early afternoon of March 19-20, 2016, you again represented PHS in the PATAFA-sanctioned Filipino Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation (FCAAF) Cup Invitational Track and Field Championship at the Ultra Oval and competed in the four events (400-meter run, 800-meter run, 1500-meter run and the 3000-meter steeplechase) where you placed fourth among a cast of athletes from Xavier School (whose representative failed to complete and dropped out in midstream), Chiang Kai Shek College, Grace Christian College and Saint Stephen’s High School among Metro Manila-based schools and Cebu Eastern College and Iloilo Sun Yat Sen High School among the provincial schools.

The three athletes ahead of you in the 3000-meter steeplechase event were so much older than you but your spirit never faltered and you were able to complete the run under sweltering heat conditions.
All the while, you have been playing basketball in the 13-under, 14-under and Juniors (18-under) competitions at the same time.

Last June, you turned 15, still reed-thin but with the same quickness as before. You are now in Grade 9 and raring to go places.

On Saturday, September 16, the FCAAF basketball tournament will commence (vs. Grace Christian College, 1:00 p.m., at the Saint Stephen’s High School gym) and you will be seeing action for a third straight season as a Juniors player.

Young Drew, continue to reach for the stars no matter how far or high. Persist and persevere to grab them, whether in athletics or academics.

Yes you can!

The best of luck, my son. Offer your games (and studies) to the Lord Almighty. To God be all the glory!
Love, Dad

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