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Burning Passion, Building Dreams

By Princess Mika N. Manliguez

Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.
Marc Jun Mercedes, a 16-year-old student from Maasin City National High School, was deeply inspired by John C. Maxwell’s quote and has carried it with him ever since he decided to participate in athletics.
Everyone has goals and desires he wishes to achieve, but not everyone can turn those aspirations into reality. The ability to handle pressure and stay focused on the task at hand is what we call discipline.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Mercedes developed a love for sports and began participating in them during elementary school. After reaching the upper age limit for elementary school athletes, he had to take a break but returned in junior high.
His father, a former athlete, advised him to work hard in training, practice self-control, and deepen his faith in God. Mercedes makes sure to follow his coach’s instructions during every training session, as he is devoted to heeding his father’s guidance. He believes that, along with his coach’s guidance, his determination and fighting spirit, supported by God’s supernatural assistance, have shaped him into the successful athlete he is today. Additionally, he remains true to his promises of practicing self-control, leading a healthy lifestyle, staying composed, enjoying the game, and making new acquaintances.
“Being an athlete not only strengthens me physically but also boosts my confidence in dealing with people. I used to face constant bullying because of the color of my skin,” says Mercedes. He adds, “Now, I have friends who share the same passion for sports.”
Mercedes, who recently competed in the Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA), has gained recognition throughout the region, thanks to his impressive performance in the discus throw, which is a result of his consistent training, unwavering dedication, and faith in God.
Confident in his abilities, Mercedes aims for success based on his previous achievements, which include winning a bronze and a silver medal in the EVRAA competition. In the Araw ng Dabaw Athletics Festival 2023, held at the University of Mindanao in Davao City on March 18, 2023, he secured a gold medal in shot put and a bronze in discus throw.
His exceptional accomplishments have caught the attention of San Beda College in Manila, which has extended an invitation for him to join their institution for his senior year. Mercedes is committed to completing his education and aspires to join the Philippine Air Force in the future.
Despite his achievements, Mercedes remains humble and shows respect to everyone, particularly those who have played significant roles in his success.
He aims to be a role model for younger generations, teaching them that life is about more than just material possessions and the modern trappings of the world. He wants to be known as an athlete who recognizes discipline as an essential component of success.
While maintaining discipline may not always be easy, Mercedes understands that it is a skill that can be developed through practice and dedication. Discipline acts as the bridge that connects ambition with achievement, making it a vital ingredient for anyone striving to reach full potential.

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