By CALVIN D. CORDOVA
CEBU CITY – Parents know what is best for their children. But this adage is sometimes no longer applicable in this age of invention.
Case in point is Margielyn Didal.
She defied her father’s wish to pursue her interest in the extreme sport of skateboarding.
But last Wednesday, the young Didal proved she made the right decision when she became the fourth Filipino athlete to win a gold medal in the ongoing 2018 Asian Games in Pelambeng, Indonesia.
The 19-year-old Didal bested seven other participants to rule the women’s street skateboard event at the JSC Skateboard Stadium.
Didal scored 30.4 points, while her closest pursuer Japanese Isa Kaya tallied 25.0.
The road to success was a rough one for Didal.
She frustrated her father time and again for not taking her studies seriously.
“Her father brings her to school. It turned out, she was not attending classes because she was on the streets practicing skateboarding,” Didal’s 43-year-old mother Julyiana told Tempo.
In utter frustration, the elder Didal destroyed his daughter’s skating equipment.
“She was so sad because she just borrowed the skateboard. Then the wheels for a skateboard that she bought for P1,800 were also destroyed,” Julyiana said in Cebuano.
“My husband kept on advising her to focus on her studies so she could have a better future,” Julyiana added.
Despite her father’s admonition, Margielyn, the fourth in a brood of five, continued sharpening her skills in the streets of Cebu. She was already in Grade 7 when she stopped schooling because of her love affair with the sport has gotten in her way.
To have “peace” in the house, Julyiana took it upon herself to convince her husband to just let their daughter pursue her passion.
Julito finally obliged and last Wednesday, Margielyn made them the proudest parents.
“We watched her competing on television. We were confident that she was going to win because the skating rink in Indonesia was not that tall compared to the rinks in London and America,” said Julyiana.
Margielyn landed in the top eight in a competition in London last May. She also ranked 10th in a separate competition in America last July.
The Didals live in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City. Julyiana sells street food like “kwek-kwek” and “tempura” outside a church in Cebu City.
Julito, 50, works as a construction worker.
“She was 12 years old when she started practicing. There were times that I instructed her to buy cooking oil but she would not come back because she was already practicing with her friends,” Julyiana narrated.
Julyiana revealed that Margielyn persevered in mastering the sport because she believed it was the only way to lift her family out of poverty.
With her victory, Margielyn is now close to achieving her dream of giving her family a better life as she could receive as much as R6 million as incentive.