Monday, July 25, 2005

Jonnel Enorme...Exceptional Filipino

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Jonnel Enorme, world-class iceskater, age 23, born with cerebral palsy

From afar, he moves like a swan on the lake that is why it is not surprising how he bagged three of the 90 gold medals at the recently held World Recreational Ice Skating Championship.

Jonnel Enorme, 23, is the country’s most unique ice skater. In fact, he is the only special ice skater in the country. He is suffering from cerebral palsy. He was born when his mother was only seven months pregnant. He was only as big as a corn when he was born. Because of his unusual state, his mother didn’t inform his father, a seafarer, about their son’s real condition.

He could barely stand up until he was eight. For many years, Jonnel can only speak gibberish words; he cannot mingle with kids his age. Taking care of a child like him needs a lot of time and patience. His mother, Elena, had to resign from her work to be with the company of her only son most of the time. His parents’ dream of having two more babies was sacrificed so they could attend to the needs of their special child.

To make him do what other normal kids could was not an easy task for his mother. She had to improvise some ways. She massaged his limbs with coconut oil, which is believed to make the limbs stronger. She fastened a belt around his waste and attached it to a high post just to be able to pull him up and force him to walk – a principle similar to what a normal kid does to a walker. She brought him to the shorelines of Iloilo and allowed his legs to touch the sand because according to a Visayan cultural belief, sand could make the muscles strong. Even if Jonnel always fell, his mother was determined to make him walk and do the chores of a normal person. In fact, even if he was more than 10 years old, his mother still had to carry him when they had to go to different places. There were people who pitied her and even offered to carry him.

But faith, hardwork and patience made all of her dreams come true.

When Jonnel was finally able to walk, he and his mother went to SM Southmall often. The mall’s ice-skating rink became his favorite place. He marveled at the skaters who danced on ice.

If making him walk was a difficult task for Elena, making him skate on the ice was the opposite. At 16, his mother enrolled him at a one-on-one ice skating session.

He had a strong determination, something that most ordinary people don’t have. According to his coach, he never complained and always stood up when he fell. In a way, he made his disadvantage – the inability to feel pain, work for his advantage. And because of his work ethic and incredible discipline on top of the slippery ice, SM selected him as one of the skaters who would compose the team that would represent the Philippines in the Skate Asia 2002 competition in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the venue of the contest, nobody knew he was special. The people watched in awe how the twenty-three year old dashed through the ice as if he was a swan moving on the lake. And when he finished his performance, most of the people gave him a standing ovation – an act that gave her mother an overwhelming amount of joy.

Her mother admitted that taking care of a person like Jonnel is not cheap. Last year, his parents tapped almost all of their savings just to be able to send him to an event hosted by one of the premier organizers of ice skating, the Skating Institute of America. But for them, spending a great amount of money for travel expenses is nothing when seeing their child who could barely stand on his feet at the age of eight, is now showing the world the fruits of his parents’ labor and his strong determination to face and conquer the challenges of life.

Jonnel Enorme a world-class athlete and pillar of strength and determination, truly a Global Pinoy!

-- source: http://www.globalpinoy.com/globalpinoys/globalpinoys.php -- via: Proud and Talented Pinay's blog

23 comments:

niceheart said...

Thank you for introducing us to these exceptional Filipinos. I always look forward to who you're going to write about next.

Yes, you can link me up. I will also link you to my site. You can see my family's pictures on my personal page at http://catherinescorner.homestead.com

goyong said...

Ok. Parang "Chicken Soup for the Soul" pinoy internet version. Mga istorya ni Teacher Renee and Mam Liz at si Jonnel siyang dapat higupin ng karamihang mga kababayan nating nakakaramdam ng pagkatamlay at pananakit ng ulo sa kasalukuyang kalagayan ng bansa nang maibsan naman ang kanilang dinadamang sakit at hirap sa buhay.

TEACHER SOL said...

NICEHEART, I did link you up already, check my blogroll. Thanks for the link too. I am scouting for exceptional Pinoys/ Pinays to feature here, if you know of any, please let me know. It's good to be proactive. With a lot of negativity around us, we need some people to shine and bring us hope.

GOYONG, ok ba ang concept ko ng PINOY PRIDE? Sana di magsawa ang mga mambabasa *wink*. Marami pang iba na dapat tayong bigyang papuri, mga normal/ regular na tao (at hidi celebrities at politicians) na sya natin dapat gawing ehemplo sa buhay. mga taong magbibigay inspirasyon sa atin, yan ang ating kailangan. It's good to keep myself updated with politics and what's going on back home, but I need some breather too.

Pinoy Teachers Network said...

HELLO! Just letting you know of our presence in the cyberspace. We are not in private practice. We are in the helping and caring profession, a service profession to help people enhance the quality of their lives. Please help us disseminate the PINOY TEACHERS NETWORK.

DarkBlak said...

wow, isa na namang nakaka inspire na istorya... salamat sa mga magulang ni Jonnel dahil pinilit nilang maging normal si Jonnel sa kabila ng kapansanan nya. Yung iba kasing magulang ikinahihiya yung anak nilang may kapansanan. Salamat din sa'yo teacher Sol sa pag post ng mga istoryang kumukurot sa puso :)

Pao said...

wow! what a nice feature you have here. thanks for introducing jonnel to us. gives more meaning to be "proud to be pinoy"!

nikki said...

salamat teachersol for telling us about this exceptional pinoys!

makes me count my blessings more & inspires me to do better. God bless!

John Clark said...

Stories such as this always strike me like a Scripture passage. It reminds me of God's love. Indeed, God is good all the time!

Thanks for linking The Blogzone. I'm putting a link to my current photo in my blog for today. I've seen your picture. It's just fair to put a face to this pen name.

Karen said...

thanks for this teacher sol, nakakainspire. but for next time i am not going to read your entry in a public place (like the library), coz i cry :).

goyong said...

Mam, Pasyal ka naman sa aking haybol kaya ako napilitang mag-blog kahit hindi ako marunong isa ka sa dahilan. Tiis na lang sana akong bilang Goyong the commentator kaya lang kinantyawan ninyo ako. Sa totoo lang computer illiterate ako kaya pasensiya na sa mga paiwarang-iwarang na posting.

Ka Uro said...

mam,
off topic. di kasi ako makapagiwan ng message sa tag board mo. nagluluko yata. pinapasabi ni LWS, mag halo-halo ka muna raw sa bago niyang haybols.

http://halohaloespesyal.blogspot.com/

TEACHER SOL said...

PINOY TEACHERS NETWORK, more power to us!!!

DARKBLAK, ang pagiging successful ng isang taong kapansanan minsan ay dahil na rin sa pagtataguyod at pagsusumikap ng mga magulang. Bilib ako sa nanay ni Jonnel, hindi kaagad sumuko; hindi madali ang magkaroon ng anak na may cerebral palsy ha. Bilib din ako kay Jonnel "tumatayo kaagad kapag bumabagsak"...di ba dapat tayo rin ganyan?

TEACHER SOL said...

PAO, first time to comment here? welcome to my blog. Hope this won't be your last visit. Feel free to share your thoughts...

NIKKI, Life isn't exactly the way we want it to be. We will have our ups and downs and crosses to bear. Yet, we must be grateful for allthat we have. Like Jonnel, Carla, Liz and Renee, when we embrace gratitude, we can help others do the same. We must hold the burning candle from which others can light their candles.

TEACHER SOL said...

JOHN CLARK, I think of people in physical pain or mental anguish; and I see courage being lived everyday. There's only one source of strength for them, God. Hey dude, saw your pic on your latest entry, cool! My husband is a good guitarist too. Now I've made more than one person uncover their identity :D

KAREN, I will share more biographies of extraordinary people here. Because in reading biographies, we may come to the startling conclusion of how much greatness we can possess. We may conclude, "hey, I can do that" We can all make our lives significant. Biographies help show the way.

TEACHER SOL said...

GOYONG, mabilis pa sa alas singko, iniwan ko ang ginagawa ko at tumakbo ako sa bago mong haybol. Gusto kong makita kung totoong tao ka nga :D haha, masyado ka kasing magaling humirit eh. Pero namangha ako sa aking nakita, ang ganda!

KA URO, salamat sa tip. Bakit ganyan, marami na kami ngayon di mapakali sa iisang blog lang... Araw-araw yata dumadami ang bloggers sa cyberspace. Ok yan, maganda ang naidudulot ng blogging naman eh...maraming kaibigan, nahahasa ang ating pagsusulat, at critical thinking. Kaya nga ako, advocate ako ng blogging eh. Basta, blog lang tayo!!!

BabyPink said...

ang galing nga ni jonnel.:) napanood ko konti (umpisa lang) ang istorya ng kanyang buhay sa 'maalaala mo kaya' ng abs-cbn.:)

J said...

ang galeng talaga :)nakaka inspired

ARVIN DELACRUZ said...

very inspring story.. shows us tht if we have the determination to succeed in life, we can accomplish anything. u cnt underestimate the heart of a champion. mabuyah to all the exceptional pinoys

tori balbinus said...

Mrs. Maria, I was like you when I was in Junior high until I finish my senior high. But now I don't have any desire for writing even poems. I wrote some poems, simple poes and some articles. All about my dreams in life; family, love, and social cases. My dream to be good writer is not really shown even I have try and try. I bought some books, attend workshops, simposiums to help me how to write well. I am 30 years now and it almost lost my fond of writing. But when I read your files, my spirit is raised. Any suggestion ? Thanks a lot.

Tori Balbinus Sahaka Sahaka
- THAILAND-

TEACHER SOL said...

BABYPINK, na-televise na nga raw ang kanyang buhay; sana marami pang regular na taong nakakapag bigay inspirasyon ang ma-feature sa TV. Marami nang nakakapang-hina na news ang ipinapalabas ngayon, nakakaapekto sa pag-iisip ng mga kabataan.

J, bilib na bilib din ako sa batang yan. karapat-dapat lamang na tularan...

TEACHER SOL said...

ARVIN, If becoming a success were easy, everyone would do it. It isn't. But we all can.

TORI, I would suggest that you get back on recording your thoughts and your experiences in life. Write down your ideas. You will have good ideas because you will have many ideas. Review them everytime; you will become your own therapist. You will see the ways to solve your own problems, find your own route to happiness and realize your own dreams. Spend most of your time thinking about solutions and not problems. Get back to recording your thoughts. And the ultimate advice--- BLOG :D

melody rufino said...

ive seen the tv series of jonnel enorme at "maalala mo kaya" he is one of a kind he is really someone you will call a unique man he inspired me!

Anonymous said...

Jonnel is my brother's best friend so i had this great opportunity of knowing him close up. He is a very sweet and very thoughtful person, and a true friend. He embodies the traits of how a true person should be, inside and out. In fact, he seems more normal compared to other "normal" people in our society.

Promethean Planet

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