PUBLIC service in the time of COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines is volleyball standout Jovelyn Gonzaga’s new game to conquer.
As a corporal in the Philippine Army, Gonzaga is currently assigned to the special services center that helps out locally stranded individuals (LSI) as both domestic and international flights are still under operations.
The 28-year-old national team member revealed that the past three months haven't been easy, both emotionally and physically.
“Kahit pa gaano katatag katawan namin, dumadating sa point na nagkakaroon kami ng anxiety, pagod, at lungkot. Pero nung nagkaroon ako ng chance mag-serve, nagkaroon din ako ng purpose,” she said in an interview with SPIN Life.
Together with fellow soldier-athletes, Jovelyn took on a different perspective on her current situation.
“Athletes kami lahat dito and we just want to serve more. Makikita mo lahat ng kasamahan mo, bawat isa ginagawa ‘yung trabaho nila. Ito na ‘yung bagong game, laro namin. Ito yung laban na dapat naming ipanalo. That’s how we see it,” she continued.
Gonzaga, who admitted she is naturally an introvert, shared that one of her biggest takeaways from the experience is learning how to empathize with different people.
She said: “Sa panahon ngayon hindi maiiwasan na magkakaroon ng lungkot na hindi mo ma-explain. Pero nung dumating ang mga LSIs, naconvert ‘yung lungkot ko sa [passion] para magserve. Magiiba talaga ‘yung perception mo sa buhay. Mahirap kasi kailangan mo habaan ang patience mo, pero mas lamang talaga ‘yung love mo sa work mo. Nag-improve ‘yung personality ko and ‘yung pakikisalamuha ko sa mga tao.”
She also revealed that serving her country, this time in a different field from sports, has had an unforgettable impact on her.
“’Pag may nare-release kaming mga tao, sobrang sarap sa feeling kasi ‘yung iba nagme-message pa yan pagkauwi nila na ‘Ma’am, salamat po, malaking tulong po kayo.’ At enough yon para magpatuloy ka,” she added.