She may not have clinched any medal in the recently-concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but Filipina skateboarder Margielyn Didal won the hearts of many people from different parts of the world with her bubbly personality, bright smile, and sunny disposition. Instead of sulking or shedding a tear over her loss, she instead cheered for her opponents and just enjoyed her journey in the competition.
But little we did know that before getting to where she is at present, she actually went through a lot of obstacles and setbacks in life that almost hindered her from being a professional skateboarder. And we were able to witness those in the narration of her life on Maalaala Mo Kaya after her triumphant stint in the 2018 Asian Games that made her the first-ever female skateboarding medalist in the contest.
And after three years, we we’re able to revisit her inspiring journey as portrayed by bankable actress Elisse Joson in the re-airing of the the “Skateboard” episode on Saturday, August 21.
The inspiring journey of Margielyn
As a kid, we were usually asked what we want to be when we grow up. While many of us have already a dream job in mind, Margielyn had none, until she discovered skateboarding. Her fascination to the sport was kindled the first time she spotted a group of skateboarders in her hometown in Cebu. A guy named Dani (JV Kapunan) offered her to try it, which she accepted, and found herself enjoying the vibe it brought her. Seeing her potential, Dani and Pipit (Jon Lucas) invited her to join them in their next practices and helped her in mastering the tricks.
She went on to participate in and win various amateur skateboarding competitions, which took a toll on her studies. While her mother (Sharmaine Arnaiz) discreetly supported her, her father (Rommel Padilla) was totally against it and got mad at her, especially when she told him that she didn’t want to pursue her studies anymore.
Things got worse when she suffered an injury during one of their practices, which led her sponsors to back out and her parents to stop her from returning to the sport that she loves. Her younger sister then got pregnant, with their father blaming her for the consecutive misfortunes that happened to their family.
But things eventually get better between Margielyn and her dad when he started to express his all-out support to her and they made amends for the misunderstanding they had. As her father supported her return to skateboarding and had experienced losses in some of her games, she realized how necessary it is to have balance in life, so she promised him that she would go back to school and finish her studies.
Her journey as a professional skateboarder kicked off when she worked with Anthony Claravall, a famed skate filmer who was then on the look for female skateboarders and when she qualified for the Asian Games in 2018, in which she won gold.
The compelling performances of the ensemble cast
We’ve already seen Elisse Joson take on various roles throughout the past years, but this is arguably the most different and most challenging she has ever done. She’s indeed able to break away from the teeny bopper and feminine portrayals she usually does and astoundingly put herself in the shoes of Margielyn Didal – from her physical appearance up to her gestures and emotions.
But what truly impressed us is her dramatic prowess, which she’s able to showcase in her confrontation scene with Rommel Padilla and in the tear-jerking breakdown scene she shared with Sharmaine Arnaiz. She’s able to successfully deliver the emotions needed on those scenes, which arguably touched our hearts and pierced our hearts.
The supporting actors also did a great job in playing their respective characters, which enabled Elisse to convey the right emotions needed in every scene. The same with their director Giselle Andres and writers Arah Jell Badayos at Akeem Jordan D. del Rosario who were able to capture us with their impeccable talent in storytelling.
The moral of the story
Through the “Skateboard” episode, Margielyn was able to inspire us to not easily give up to our dreams, despite facing a lot of setbacks and hindrances along the way. Even though not a lot of people will show their support on you and the things you do, what matters most is that you believe in yourself, and that’s already enough to keep on pushing. Her story reminds us that indeed, “the universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart”
Besides, regardless of our achievements or whatever we do in life, it always pays to love and respect your parents and finish your studies because it will definitely take you far in life – just like what Margielyn did.