By: Hannah Britanico and Ericka Marie Banting
Jayshem Lozada, a double upper and below body amputee from Barangay Tahing, Calinog, surpassed his physical limitations to become a shot-put athlete.
Lozada, 22, started playing the sport three years ago through the encouragement of his Special Education (SPED) teacher and trainer, Lilibeth Libero.
“Three years ago, which was in 2016, nakita ko ni siya nga gindala ni tatay niya during National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week in Calinog. Tapos ginhambalan ko nga ipa-enrol nila sa SPED. Aside nga naka-start na siya sang iya nga education, diri pa gid siya nakatuon kun paano maghampang shot-put. Then by September of that year, nakasugod na siya hampang sa Lambunao nga Paragames sa Congressional District Sports Association (CDSA),” Libero said.
Since then, Lozada has played in the athletics orthopedic category in district, integrated, and regional Paragames.
He is the first double upper and below body amputee athlete in the third district of Iloilo.
Lozada, however, said that the road to becoming an athlete was not easy for him.
Among the different hardships he faced was his physical limitation which put him to the test.
“Wala ko mga special equipment nga ginagamit ti tungod sa kondisyon ko. Mabudlay gid kay nabug-atan ko sang una maghaboy sang iron nga bola nga ginagamit sa shot-put pero nagpadayun lang gid ako,” Lozada added.
It was also a struggle for Lozada to keep up with his training at Calinog Elementary School, which is four to five kilometers from his house.
“There are four barangays bag-o siya makalab-ot sa banwa ti tungod sa distance, indi daily ang iya nga practice. Mabudlay gid bal-an mag-travel especially if gainulan kay si tatay niya man lang ang gadul-ong sa iya. Pero, manami kay wala gid siya nag-untat biskan amu na ang sitwasyon kag makita man kung gaano siya ka pursigido sa sports,” Libero said.
With his drive in honing his capacity as a shot-put athlete, his development can clearly be seen by his family, SPED teachers, and the other people supporting him throughout his journey.
“Dako gid ang development niya. Kun makita siya sang una, ang limit para sa ila nga orthopedic athletes nga three kilograms nga iron ball, kay asta lang sa atubang niya ang iya nga haboy. Subong, ang record sang haboy niya makalab-ot na sa more than three meters,” Libero said.
Libero added that Lozada created his own technique in throwing the iron ball, proving that he can be a shot-put athlete regardless of him being an amputee.
“Amu lang na ang physical nga kondisyon ni Lozada pero kaya niya gid atipanun ang sarili niya kag mahimuan paraan ang mga gusto niya tuparun,” according to Lozada’s grandmother, Ederlina Quintar.
Aside from his growth as an athlete, Lozada’s social skills also improved.
Lozada’s grandfather Onofere Quintar said Lozada back then would only stay at home because he did not have any reason to engage himself with someone outside of their family, making him shy and timid.
When he engaged in sports however, his confidence and social skills grew.
“Since nag-enrol siya sa SPED, indi lang sports ang na-develop niya pero pati man ang iya nga social skills kay eager gid sya mag-eskwela. Damo di siya subong mga friends sa school nga willing gid dayon magbulig sa iya parehos sa pagtulod sa iya sa wheelchair kag magbulig sa iya kaon. Then kung mag-training na si Lozada kay damo naman may galantaw sa iya nga mga students para maghatag suporta,” according to Analyn Lozada one of the SPED teachers from his school.
In this year’s 3rd CDSA held in Cabatuan, one of the facilitators, Ritchel Comodero, witnessed Lozada’s play and have come to know his story through Libero.
“I was amazed and moved by Lozada’s determination. I told his story to my Grade 10 students sa Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School, saying that Lozada is an example of someone nga despite sang disability, kada isa sa atun, regular man or amputated, may ability gihapon. In Lozada’s case may hidden talent sya nga napakita through being a shot-put athlete” said Comodero.
With only three more years left to play as a shot-put athlete in the Paragames, Lozada wanted to serve as an inspiration to more people, especially his fellow amputee athletes.
“Asta lang 25 years old ang pagiging athlete sa Paragames pero samtang gahampang pa ko, gusto ko ipakita nga biskan amu lang ni kita, indi makapugong ang disability ta. Ginapatihan ko gid nga ability conquers disability. Amu na biskan amu lang ni ang physical nga kondisyon ka lawas ko, makahampang ko,” Lozada said.