The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) has nothing but praises for their fellow Filipinos in Western Australia.
We admire and commend all of them. Most of them are Australian citizens but they help Filipinos like the swimmers of the PSL.
Why praise them?
They all gave unselfishly from their hearts and souls.
It is all grace and wisdom. And then things fall into place. First, Mrs. Vicki and Dave Wotherspoon of Filipino Australian Club, Inc provided us cozy accommodation. It was near the beach where our 17 swimmers, nine coaches, officials and supporters can walk around and exercise in the morning.
It started with a call from Landy and Bradmel Matugas, who provided us transportation – two vans where all swimmers and coaches can fit in.
Landy works for Hertz Australia and Brad was a former member of the Philippine Football National Team. They are both members of the Filipino-Australian Club of Perth, Inc.
As our Filipino-Australian friends gave freely and unselfishly, in sharp contrast our government sports agency– the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) gave us nothing but disappointment and dismay.
They denied PSL athletes of the Philippine Travel Tax Exemption. “Nakakahiya ang ahensiya sa sports ng gobyernong ito,” said Joan Mojdeh.
By the way, Mojdeh is the mother of Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, who at the age of nine has attained the Quadruple (AAAA) American Standard Time.
We are also grateful to the Australian Embassy for declaring that the travel visas of our PSL athletes, coaches and officials were waived.
I believe that the Filipino community in Western Australia was indeed sent by the Lord.
“It is a heart-warming gesture showed by our fellow Filipinos,” Dr. Maria Susan Benasa said.
Upon our arrival at the Perth International Airport, Vicki, Dave and Landy were there to meet us.
We were provided with transportation. As we lack one driver, Modj Mojdeh, the father of Jasmine, volunteered to drive.
The next morning, we went to the supermarket to buy gallons of milk for our swimmers as well as plenty of bananas, Angus beef, lamb, cheese etc. for their meals. The mommies were the ones who cooked and of course yours truly.
In the afternoon, we had a short training at the Aquatic Recreation Center-Mandurah that we rented for two hours (thanks to our sponsor Sonia Baltazar).
Then came a call from Rev. Father Concord Bagaoisan who invited us to hear mass. After going to church, another Filipino married to an Australian, Mrs. Carol Allen, invited us to a sumptuous dinner. I knew God is with us.
A day before the competition, the swimmers were able to test the water at the beautiful HBF Challenge Stadium where the FINA World Swimming Championship was held twice.
On Day 1 of the competition, the Filipino-Australian supporters were there headed by Tita Vicki, Landy’s family, Francis Pisa, Reynaldo Padernilla and Junno Orence and their families, bringing food for the PSL delegation.
We won 48 gold, 19 silver and 12 bronze medals, with 13 records broken and six of our bets were hailed Most Outstanding Swimmers namely Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, Kyla Soguilon, Sean Terence Zamora, Drew Benett Magbag, Marc Bryan Dula and Albert Sermonia 2nd.
I want to congratulate the whole PSL delegation namely Sec. Gen. Maria Susan Benasa, coaches Alexandre Papa and Marlon Dula as well as swimmers Ferdinand Ian Trinidad, Joy Rodgers, Lucio Cuyong 2nd, Paul Christian King Cusing, Jux Keaton Solita, Francis Sherwyn Tan, John Gabriel Bucad, Lowenstein Julian Lazaro, Roger Dante Giron, Kobe Soguilon and Namahig Asa Mahiwo, as well as officials and supporters Joan and Harold Mohammad Mojdeh, Vicky Soguilon, Gina Cusing, Dennar Magbag and Dindo Cuyong.
After the competition, the PSL delegation was given a victory celebration courtesy of the FACPI Execom headed by its President Tony Pelaez.
We also got invited by Fr. Christian Saminal, Fr. Bagaoisan and Randolf Catbagan to see Albany – a beautiful, amazing and historical place which beauty is beyond our expectations.
The blessings continued as Cheryl Anyayahan of Pinoy Minimart Shop, Sol Stoefel and Mary Aileen Eguia of Health PTY Ltd. and the Ilocano community treated us to a sumptuous meal of crabs and fishes.
Again, from the PSL family, thank you Lord for the wisdom, for how all the swimmers were given subsidy in one way or another. Some swimmers were able to travel for free and some parents gave donations to cover the delegation’s expenses.
Thank you for the instructions you gave Lord. We worship and glorify You for giving PSL the Pinoys in Western Australia. We Praise them in your name!