SEAGames super swimmer,
Rock Ed Volunteer!

Miguel Molina: Rock Ed Volunteer, SEAGames superstar, my nephew, my hero.

Tonight I have nothing but cliches.

They come so easy when I talk about my nephew, Miguel Molina.

Miguel just came out on top of the heap in the last SEAGames. He has the most number of individual gold medals among all the national athletes. 3 gold medals, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. He is a swimmer. He represented us formidably in the Athens Olympics in 2004. Last I heard, his teammate said Miguel stayed up late typing out his Economics paper the night before his gold-bagging event. He's a Junior in UC Berkeley and he's one of the coolest people I know. Laid back and polite, soft spoken and respectful.

I was eleven years old when he was born. Being the youngest in the family, I was always in awe of Miguel because he was the first baby I ever encountered up-close. I can't even begin to imagine the pride of my sister, his mom.

When people used to ask me why I devote my time to building Rock Ed Philippines, I always say it's for my nephews and nieces. This country is theirs to inherit. And I worry sometimes. Without saying a word, Miguel assured me that, sometimes, we have to trust that the future will be in good hands.

Even the coolest of us can't stay blase about this guy.

Ever since he was six he knew he wanted to swim. He woke up, even in the winter months, 5 am everyday. Swam and studied. Maintained his average so my sister would still allow him to stay in the team and compete. He taught me what devotion was about. And commitment.

Most of all, true-to-form of my family, he still knows how to party. (his best trait, so far) So in the end, he taught me the most important thing. He showed me that passion and balance are perfect bedmates. That true balance is possible.

Inspired by Miguel, I have always advocated that we should fuel our passions and work on what we do well. Devote time and commitment to something and perhaps offer it back to the country. Nation-building has always been about the little things.

The little habits of discipline and work. The rewards of excellence follow suit. And if the country is lucky, we can add a little pride to our 'so-bruised' national soul. This is one of Rock Ed's goals, to make the mother country lift her chin up a bit and stare back at the world with defiant eyes.


Miguel did just that. He just cupped the motherland's chin and set it higher than it was before he was born.

If an entire nation is teeming with pride about this guy, you cannot imagine how I feel--when we, in fact, share blood.

I can't rave enough.

This is where we start. Philippines, we should all be so proud.
Mabuhay ka, Miguel!

text: Gang Badoy
photo credit: Redgie Cinco