January 29, 2023

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HOME IS THE CHAMP

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The Philippine Senate hailed world-ranked no.3 pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena in a resolution congratulating his recent string of victories to cap a memorable season in his career.

Senate Resolution No. 212, authored and sponsored by Senator Pia Cayetano, was adopted during Monday’s plenary session, September 19 with Obiena present.

Obiena, on his Facebook, said, “Maraming salamat po dear Senators for all the commendations and recognitions sent my way yesterday. Lahat po ng karangalan at panalo ko, #ParaSaBayan at #ParaSaKabataan (Thank you very much dear Senators for all the commendations and recognitions sent my way yesterday. All my honor and victory for the country and for the youth).”

Senators comment

Cayetano’s measure read, “Filipino Olympian Ernest John ‘EJ’ Obiena exhibited an impressive performance in 2022, making this year the highlight of his athletic career as he continues to make great strides by accomplishing his largest medal haul to date, with 12 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals.” Cayetano’s measure read.

All Senate members were also co-authors of the resolution.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who co-sponsored and co-authored the Adopted Senate Resolution No. 18, said: “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and deepest admiration for the country’s best pole vaulter and among the best in the world, Ernest John “EJ” Obiena.”

Obiena was physically present at the Senate plenary session.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, on Monday, September 19, co-sponsored and co-authored Adopted Senate Resolution No. 18 congratulating Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena who has recently topped the Golden Fly Series in Liechtenstein and the Gala Dei Castelli in Switzerland this month. The resolution was principally sponsored by Senator Pia Cayetano.

In his co-sponsorship speech, Go commended the decorated athlete saying, “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and deepest admiration for the country’s best pole vaulter and among the best in the world, Ernest John “EJ” Obiena.”

Obiena record recap

World Championship bronze medalist World No. 3 Obiena emerged champion in the Gala Dei Castelli athletics competition in Bellinzona, Switzerland Tuesday, September 13 (Philippine Time), after ruling the 2022 Golden Fly Liechtenstein on Sunday, September 11.

He also pocketed golds in the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting, True Athletes Classics in Leverkusen, Germany, St. Wendel City Jump in Sankt Wendel, Germany, and the Golden Fly Series in Liechtenstein.

Obiena also won a silver in the Das Internationale Stadionfest Berlin (ISTAF) Berlin in Germany on September 4 after shocking world champion Armand Duplantis in Brussels Diamond League in Belgium.

Go said, “With these triumphs, it is no doubt that EJ deserves the recognition and commendation of this esteemed hall. Salamat sa iyong mga pagsisikap na magbigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa (With these triumphs, it is no doubt that EJ deserves the recognition and commendation of this esteemed hall. Thank you for your efforts to bring honor to our country).”

“Ang panalo mo ay isang inspirasyon para sa lahat ng iyong mga kababayan lalo na sa panahon ngayon na napakarami ng hamon na kinakaharap ng bansa at ng buong mundo (Your win is an inspiration for all your countrymen especially at this time when there are so many challenges facing the country and the whole world),” the Dabawenyo senator added.

He also hopes that Obiena’s will inspire young Filipino athletes’ confidence and faith to succeed in their chosen sports.

Vacation time after a most rewarded season

Obiena is taking a much-needed vacation from a rigid European outdoor campaign and a forthcoming 18-month preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“It’s time to play, I won’t be back here after a long while,” said Obiena, who, along with girlfriend, German long jumper Caroline Joyeaux, dad Emerson and mom Jeanette, and sister Emily Jean—enjoyed the view from the Knights Templar Hotel in Tagaytay City.

He thanked Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and the POC for supporting his campaign over the past three years that yielded a world championships bronze for a top three world ranking, an Asian record, and a sweet rare victory over Olympic and world champion and world record holder Armand Duplantis.

“It’s a feeling of security and peace of mind. It’s this assurance that someone has your back … and that I can fully focus on my training and competition.”

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