At some point in her life, suffering from a fractured collarbone, Margielyn Didal decided to take a break from skateboarding.
And then she met Jozel Manzanares.
As the 2018 Asian Games gold medalist tells it, she had stopped skateboarding in 2014 and 2015 after her injury, then came to know Jozel at the Sinulog Festival in Cebu.
"Siya po 'yung nagpabalik sa akin mag-skate," she said in a press conference on Monday.
"Nakilala ko siya kasama mga tropa pero di pa niya alam nagse-skate ako kasi nag-stop ako. And then after few months, biglang nag-open up siya...'Ay nagse-skate ka pala. Ba't di mo sinabi?'" Margielyn recounted their conversation.
"'Ay nahiya kasi ako..' 'Bakit mo kinakahiya?' 'Kasi ano, madaming negative na usap-usapan sa likod ko...'" she continued.
"Siya po 'yung nag-support na, 'Bakit ayaw mo mag-start ulit...continue mo, enjoy mo lang.' Tapos ayon po, nagsunod-sunod po blessings," Margielyn added.
Jozel was a witness to all the work Margielyn put in and all the sacrifices she made for her skateboarding career.
"In bad times and good times, andiyan po siya," Margielyn said.
The 19-year-old Cebu native bagged the Philippines' fourth gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games.
Margielyn is the fourth of five children of Lito, a carpenter, and Julie, a household helper who also moonlights as a sidewalk vendor. As a child, Margielyn would help her mother sell kwek-kwek before the skating bug bit her.
Margielyn plans to use her P6 million in prize money to help her beloved family establish a business.
She previously said that her father did not want her to pursue a career in sports. However, it did not stop her from doing what she really loves to do.
Fresh from her victory in Jakarta, Margielyn asks parents to support their children in their endeavors: "Sa lahat po ng parents, alam ko naman po na kapakanan ng anak niyo po pero sana suportahan niyo na lang din 'yung anak niyo," she said.
She also advises youngsters to focus on their chosen career.
"Sa mga anak din, 'wag niyo naman haluan ng mga pangit na bisyo... di natin alam. Focus na lang din sa skate o schooling din," she said. — BM, GMA News