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A Yolanda survivor: Not just an ordinary sports coach


TACLOBAN CITY – At his young age, John Paul Masubay has set his goal in life- be a coach. And not just a sport coach but a life coach to children who attend their sessions in football. The 22 year old resident of Barangay 59, Sampaguita district, this city, is one of the coaches under the wings of Fundlife International, a humanitarian organization which aims to promote children hit by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ recover through sports, particularly football.


Masubay, himself a survivor of the world’s strongest typhoon to hit in inland, said that being a life coach to these children, he finds meaning to his life and existence. By focusing as a coach, he chose to forget of becoming engineer saying that as an engineer he could only build a solid structure ‘without any impact to community.’


“I realize that football or soccer could help shape how the children sees their life in the future. That despite of poverty, they can do something and achieve in life,” Masubay, who himself is no stranger to daily life’s struggles, said.


Masubay, second to the brood of three siblings whose parents are just average wage earners, became a football coach Fundlife International (under the Football For Life Academy programme) sometimes in 2016 going around to various communities in Tacloban City, considered as a ground zero of Yolanda.


As a coach, he teaches the basic of the games while considered as the world’s most popular sports yet remain alien to most of the Filipinos, for at least two hours. But in so doing, Masubay inculcates some values which he said are needed for one to become a ‘champion in life.’


“The core value being promoted by Fundlife includes commitment, creativity, courage, respect, and skills which are needed for one to become a champion in life and not just in sports,” he said.


“Just coming to the session or by bringing a bottled water help them become committed and responsible,” he said. The young coach boasted that since they have started their mission, they have seen many children who attended their session showing some measure of success.


He said that many of them have finished their elementary or secondary, studies with good grades, if not topping their classes. Masubay himself said that joining Fundlife International, funded by Marco Kasic, was one the best decisions he has ever made.


Aside from fulfilling his dream to become a football player-cum-coach, he gets to travel to foreign countries helping promote football as a life changing tool.


Recently Masubay went to Buenos Aires, Argentina to join a global event dubbed as ‘Sport at the Service of Humanity,’ a mentoring activity. He was the only Asian to attend the October 3-6 event participated by luminaries coming from various field endeavors.


The experience of attending a global affair made him realize that sport like football could be a big thing not just in breaking social barrier but a venue in achieving ‘social inclusion.’ “Each one of us has our own unique way. One should not be considered as above from the rest. We can achieve our goals in life” Masubay said. /By JOEY A. GABIETA

​(This article was originally published in Leyte-Samar Daily Express' November 06, 2018 release.)

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