THERE’S NO denying that Hidilyn Diaz is one very strong woman. But for her, this goes beyond the physical sense of the word.
“Kasi minsan, nili-limit tayo, na sinasabi na eto lang tayo, dito lang tayo,” she said in a newly released video from Belo Medical Group Philippines. “Pero may abilidad tayo at kapasibilidad na maging magaling. So gusto kong ipakita na malakas din tayo.”
On the video, she also spoke up about the important role makeup and beauty play in her lifting — something she wrote about extensively in the sports essay anthology Winning Still.
“Ginagamit ko yung lipstick to represent the women in sports,” Diaz declared. “Pinapakita ko sa kalaban ko na confident ako. Hindi ako kabado sa inyo, bahala kayo. Basta ako, naka-lipstick ako.”
Who does Hidilyn Diaz look up to?
But a strong woman like herself also looks up to fellow strong women.
For the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist, this includes her mother (“Ang nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas”) as well as the female members of Team HD, which includes sports nutritionist Jeaneth Aro and sports psychologist Karen Trinidad.
But she also gave a shoutout to a mental health awareness group called Project: Steady.
“Kasi may time na parang ayoko na, may mga time na umiiyak lang ako. So I need people na makausap ko. Good thing may mga kababaihan na akong kausap na maiintindihan ako,” she explained.
According to their Facebook page, Project: Steady offers “well-being programs, guided creativity therapy for adults and beginners”, as well as “stress balance assessment and counseling.”
Hidilyn Diaz has been very open about the dark period of doubt in her life, when she seriously considered quitting weightlifting.
As her best friend Roanne Beltran told Spin.ph’s Kate Reyes: “May mga araw bigla iiyak [si Hidilyn] tapos sasabihin, ‘Gusto ko na mag-quit,’ tapos ako syempre maiiyak din ako, pero sasabihin niya na ‘wag na akong umiyak. Hindi ko na din alam gagawin ko pero sinasabi ko sa kanya that time na ‘Hids, paano na ‘yung gold?’”
For Diaz, being in touch with her feminine side through beauty and makeup, she said in the Belo video, helps the Olympian relax.
“Then next, kumain,” she said, smiling.
Hidilyn Diaz is now the newest ambassador for Belo for their ADVALight Laser Treatment, which she uses to help combat her acne.