NICOLE Tiamzon was inspired by her unexpected visitors a day after her birthday in BanKo’s game against Adamson-Akari in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference on Sunday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Tiamzon, who turned 23 years old on Saturday, finished with 10 points including 10 digs to help the Perlas Spikers in beating the hapless Lady Falcons in straight sets, 25-17, 25-17, 25-18.
The UP standout was surprised by the kids from Taytay, who are part of her Spike and Serve Philippines — a grassroots development and non-profit organization.
“Nakita niyo kanina parang isang batalyon sila; I didn’t know na pupunta sila,” she said. “Kasi yesterday I celebrated my birthday with them sinurprise nila ako and everything and ngayon paglabas ko ng dugout andyan silang lahat.”
Tiamzon confessed that she felt slightly pressured as she wanted to be great inspiration for the kids.
“May halong kaba siyempre you don’t want to disappoint the kids, they see you on tv naman, pero this is the first time they went here na manonood tapos naka-BanKo Perlas (jersey) ako sa tv lang nila nakikita yun,” the outside hitter said. “Noong una may halong kaba pero hindi naman ako magpapaano kasi yun nga inspirasyon ka ng mga bata you have to be a role model sa kanila and masaya ako kasi nakababa sila tas nakita nila yung Perlas (team).”
Tiamzon, a member of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Youth and Sport Task Force, was grateful for the support of the staff of Spike and Serve and especially, the parents of the participants.
“Ibig sabihin suportado ng mga magulang yung gusto ng mga bata gawin talaga kasi hindi naman madali makuha yung loob ng mga magulang na ipagkakatiwala sayo yung mga bata,” she said. “Siyempre without the initiative of the staff ng Spike and Serve hindi rin sila makakapunta dito maybe nagusap usap sila with the parents na para rin makita ng mga bata kung saan sila papunta malay natin diba? Para lang mafeel nila na possible pala.”
And what made Tiamzon happier was the kids were able to watch a major league live, meet the other Perlas Spikers and even walk on the taraflex court.
“If makita niyo yung face ng mga bata kanina nung nakatapak sila sa taraflex na magandang gym, ilaw and everything,” she added. “Yun yung mga kasiyahan ng mga bata ngayon and maybe it can start for them to dream diba?”
This batch of kids started to be part of the Spike and Serve Program last June and it will last until March next year. Tiamzon plans to find another school in Taytay to continue her advocacy and when given a chance she wants to expand it to other place
“Hindi pa siya ganoon kalaki. I want to start small like them ilan sila 24 with parents teachers. For me pilot place ko si Taytay and if umokay yung program lipat kami sa ibang bayan,” she concluded.
“Pero etong mga batang ‘to dahil maghighschool na yung iba lipat sila sa ibang program pero tuloy tuloy lang ito. Ibig sabihin sa ibang eskwelahan naman kami pero sa taytay pa rin pero kung papalarin tayo pwede natin maduplicate yung programa maipasa sa ibang probinsya.”