ANTIQUE-- Elma Muros-Posadas, known as the Iron Woman of the Philippine Athletics and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Heptathlon Queen, and a product of the Palaro, received the first-ever Palarong Pambansa Parangal Lifetime Achievement Award on April 23 in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.
Muros-Posadas, who competed in the Palaro from 1981 to 1983 as one of the representatives from the CALABARZON Region, expressed gratitude for being awarded the distinct honor, Unang una, thank God dahil sa dinami-dami ako ang napili. Siguro worth it din dahil [dito] ako na-train... Achievement na napakalaki sa buhay ko ito.
During the opening ceremony, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, and Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao presented the certificate to Muros-Posadas.
Umali described Muros-Posadas as a good example of a Palaro-medalist who won many national and international competitions, Marami kasing nananalo na atleta [sa Palaro], pero yung na-inspire yung taong bayan, dapat may ganoong elemento. At pagkatapos nun ay hindi siya tumigil at kaniyang pinagpatuloy ang kaniyang ginagawa. Siya po ay nagbigay ng inspirasyon sa iba pang atletang kabataang Pilipino na sundan ang kaniyang yapak.
Muros-Posadas remembered her olden days in the Palaro and described her co-Palaro athletes as dedicated, hardworking, and with "pusong palaban."
When asked about her most memorable Palaro moment, Muros-Posadas fondly recalled the 1983 Palaro and said, Nung tinalo ko si Lydia [de Vega]. Gusto kasi ng coach ko mag-champion kami sa track and field women category at matalo ang NCR so ginawa ko.
Passing the torch to young athletes
Though her days of competing are behind, Muros-Posadas and her husband, Jojo Posadas, continue to help high school and college students by sending them to school in exchange for training them in sports.
She described herself as a strict and hands-on coach but one who is not too assertive, stating that willingness still should come from the athlete. She also accentuated the importance of a coach-athlete relationship that is built on hard work and respect.
She iterated that young athletes must make hay of their God-given talents.
Muros-Posadas shared the story of Rhea Joy Sumalpong, a talented student from Region 10 who struggled financially. She and her husband helped Sumalpong continue her studies and helped develop her skills. Now an incoming 4th year student in the University of the East, Sumalpong is a discus throw and shot put player, and a gold medalist and record-holder in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Nagpapa-aral kami nang walang kapalit. Ayaw ko ng utang na loob. Gusto ko maka-graduate sila, gusto ko mapakinabangan nila yung talento nila. Sa pamamagitan ng talento [nila], makatulong sila sa pamilya plus makabigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa.
Like how she motivates the students she has trained, Muros-Posadas encouraged Palaro-athletes to strive not only to win but also to give honor to the country, Sa mga kasali, wag ninyong sayangin yung mga opportunity na binibigay ng DepEd. Yung galing [ninyo], ilabas ninyo Balang araw magiging Lydia de Vega, Akiko Thomson, Onyok [Velasco], Manny Pacquiao or higitan ninyo pa.
Dapat determination, dedication, wag ma-involve sa droga dahil sisirain nun ang buhay natin, she added.
Muros-Posadas led the 2017 Palarong Pambansa lighting of the cauldron and was joined by tennis standout and Antique's pride Marian Jade Capadocia and 2017 Palaro swimming qualifier Clyde Clemente.
Source: Philippines Information Agency