MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Posts Tagged ‘Sports

What the Olympics is All About

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The most important thing in the Olympics is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

~The Olympic Creed

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July 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

Second Chances

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You don’t throw a life away just because it’s banged up a little.

from the movie Seabiscuit

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December 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm

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Lessons From Pacquiao Vs. Margarito

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Manny Pacquiao does more than make Filipino hearts swell with pride and lower the crime rate to almost zero during a fight.

On a micro-scale—the family unit, the level that matters the most—he opens the opportunity for kids to learn what winning is all about, especially in this time and age when victory means crushing the enemy and gloating.

Sensing the frenzy online and my furious following of tweets on the fight, my twin sons asked me: “Why does Pacquiao always win?” “Because he practices like crazy!”  I answer instantly.

According to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, successful individuals—The Beatles, Bill Gates, for example—have spent at least 10,000 hours of their lives doing what they have become famous for.

Make this fact relatable to your children by pointing out what they like to do, or what skill or talent they have. One of my sons, Mateo, is heavily into origami—not just the paper boat and and plane stuff, but the hardcore, intricate creations: trilobytes, crane with feet, five-petalled lily, frog. He even gave “lessons” recently at Expo Kid in Rockwell. He began last year on his own, sans teacher, and was hooked.

Lesson no. 1: Practice, train, and rehearse your skills every chance you get.


But Pacquiao didn’t ALWAYS win. In 2005, he lost to Erik Morales. After, Freddie Roach came into his life and has since been unbeatable. I point this out to Marco and Mateo. “To also win, you have to have a good coach or mentor.”

Sports journalist Allen Barra writes in The Daily Beast: “(Roach) has worked with dozens of champions over the years and learned his training skills from the great Eddie Futch. He told me Pacquiao is, ‘Maybe the greatest two-handed fighter I’ve ever seen. You see a lot of great fighters who have one great punch and a good second punch. Joe Louis had the greatest jab I’ve ever seen. Joe Frazier had a great left hook, Mike Tyson had a killer right. But Manny has the best punch of anyone in boxing with either his right or his left.’”

Lesson no. 2: Choose a teacher that will help you excel.


While many get caught up in what people think of them, putting image before purpose, Pacquiao remains focused on his goal: winning the fight. Training with a single-mindedness chronicled in other reports, he also remains unfazed by criticism and trash-talk.

Marco sums it up: “You mean he believes in himself?”

Exactly. Stand your ground.

Lesson no. 3: Be strong within so you can be strong on the outside.


Pacquiao is also known for “lifting up” his fights to God and country. I point this out to the boys.

We are not a religious family, but—I like to believe—a faithful one. Mateo considers his good night prayers a powerful call to a Divine Force to protect him. This is the same God that allows (because He could very well NOT) Pacman to win.

Lesson no. 4: When you call to God to help you in a fight, you’ll know you’ll win; and if you don’t, there’s a really good reason why.


In the last rounds, I show the twins how Pacquiao is just prancing around, when he could have easily battered Margarito into a human burrito.

Post-fight, the 8-time Welterweight Champion tells the commentator: “Boxing is not for killing each other.”

Marco, struggling for the words in his 6-year old vocabulary, remarks when I ask him what he thinks about Pacman letting Margarito go. “It’s only a game…it’s about compassion.”

Lesson no. 5: The gracious and merciful victor is the best kind of all.

–  Gina Abuyuan


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I always wanted to be honest with myself and to those who have had faith in me.

– Rafael Nadal

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January 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

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Mirror Image

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.. and we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord are being changed into His likeness.

2 Corinthians 3:18

Something fascinated me when I was a teenager. I would look at my Mom. Then at my Dad. Can it be that they look alike? I don’t mean it like they are identical twins. But, to me, they looked similar. After further investigation amongst relatives who were happily married. My theory was confirmed. Could it be that if one gets married, you end up looking like the other? Could it be osmosis?

Some people tell us that Matthew and I look alike. If you know us and have seen us, that statement is a laugh! Why? Because Matthew is tall and I’m short. Matthew has a good physique and I’m very plump. In fact, physically, we are opposites. But, I guess, through the years of constant company we could have acquired some of each other’s qualities. Matthew’s formal personality has become more relaxed. I, on the other hand, have developed interests in diverse fields like music, arts, religion, sports, computers, books that I used to ignore in the past. All of which are Matthew’s influence on me.

If living with my husband makes us alike, could it be the same with God? If I gaze at the Lord and behold His glory, I pray that in the end, I will reflect Him, and that His image will appear in my life.


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January 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm


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You can always become better.

Tiger Woods

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June 20, 2009 at 3:59 pm


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I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
I’ve failed over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.

– Michael Jordan

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March 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Michael Phelps Wins Record 8th Olympic Gold

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Michael Phelps has gone where no Olympian has gone before. Phelps swam to his record eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games on Sunday, propelling the U.S. team to a hard-fought victory in the 4×100 medley relay.


Michael Phelps

To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears.

– I Corinthians 9:25

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August 18, 2008 at 8:14 am

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