By now, everybody and their uncles already know that Hidilyn Diaz is dating her coach, Filipino-Japanese Julius Naranjo. In an episode of "Tunay na Buhay," the two gave a sneak peek into their three-year relationship.
As we all know by now, the two met at a competition in Turkmenistan sometime in 2017. The two have been together for three years now, with Julius first becoming Hidilyn's boyfriend before becoming her coach.
"I was based Guam when we met. I didn't really know she was a Silver medalist," Julius tells Pia Archangel. "I just thought it was great to meet people from the Philippines at a competition abroad."
According to Julius, Hidilyn immediately caught his attention. "She looked very beautiful. Couldn't stop smiling."
In 2018, as Hidilyn was planning to go to China to begin training for the Olympics, Julius surprised her by telling her he intended to stay in Manila. "Sabi ko, 'sira ulo ka ba?' Pinagalitan ko siya. 'Ang ganda-ganda ng buhay mo sa Guam, ba't ka pupunta dito?"
[I asked him if he was crazy. He had a good life in Guam, why would he want to come here?]
While Hidilyn was flattered — "ang haba ng hair ko," she says smiling — it took a while before she could fully trust Julius to let him into her life, and into her team.
"Kahit exercise, sports major siya, naging coach siya, hindi aka basta-basta naniwala. Yung trust, it takes time," Hidilyn said.
[It took awhile before he could earn my trust. Even if he was a sports major, even if he became a coach, I didn't believe him immediately.]
According to Hidi, her boyfriend is very sweet. "Mas babae pa siya kaysa sa akin. Mas maalaga siya," she describes Julius.
"Alam kong sobrang nahiraapan siya," she continued, admitting she can be too focused and single-minded "Kung sa weightlifting, sa Olympics lang."
"Minsan sinasabi niya hindi normal ang relationship namin," Hidi continues, pointing to their coach-athlete dynamic. "Kailangan i-set aside yung paging boyfriend-girlfriend."
"Minsan, sobra akong stubborn as an athlete and as a girlfriend," she admits.
Her luck is not lost on the Gold medalist though. "Siguro swerte ako duon, yun yung binigay sa kin ni God na taong makakaintindi sa akin at tutulungan ako."
Perhaps a testament to Julius' love, he says the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist "can also be the sweet type."
"She can be aggressive because she's a strong woman and her determination and with the sacrifices that she makes."
The two hardly go on dates now, looking at their training session as precious time they can be together. — LA, GMA News