Is being ‘unprepared’ to compete in an international sporting event a valid excuse to fail?

‘Not being prepared’ is not an excuse. What it is is a reason for failure, no more no less. And, yes, the failure of Filipino divers John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo in this year’s Southeast Asian Games is a failure of ALL Filipinos.


There is no other way to describe the fielding of these two unprepared athletes. It was yet another instance of Filipinos’ world-famous pwede-na-yan mentality at work. It’s like the way we complain about not being able to defend the West Philippine Sea because the Philippines is a poor country and therefore excusable for having an ill-equipped navy. Well now. If you are a poor country sporting a limpdicked navy, then you have no business playing globo-politics with the bigwigs.

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Among the things the Philippine government did to “defend” its territories in the West Philippine Sea is to beach the World War II era scrap metal of a “warship” BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal. As in, wow. I can’t help but liken the Sierra Madre to Fabriga and Pahoyo. Why in the world would you send ill-equipped assets to compete?

Let’s not forget the whole brouhaha surrounding the recent fight of that other Filipino “champ” Manny Pacquiao. You can understand why some high-rollers wanted to sue him when they found out he fought Floyd Mayweather while suffering an undeclared arm injury. You’d be mad too if you staked a lot on a fighter you thought was prepared to win.

Like the case of Pacquiao, the Philippines staked its “pride” in the athletes it sent to Singapore this year. Its honor rode on the backs of Fabriga and Pahoyo. The level of performance they delivered in those games reflects the Philippines’ commitment to excellence (or lack of it, as the case may be). If Filipinos are so quick to attribute Pacquiao’s success to “Pinoy Pride”, how can they not make the corollary conclusion in the case of Fabriga and Pahoyo? Their failure is the Philippines’ failure!

But they did their best, right?

Whoa! You know what comes to mind? Stop me if you’ve heard this. It’s John Mason’s famous quote from The Rock

Your “best”?! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f-ck the prom queen.

If there is one quintessentially-GRP quote, that would be it. But I’d do justice to that one in this instance by adding an excerpt from the lyrics of the late Whitney Houston’s hit song that was dedicated (I don’t know if by her or someone else) to Olympic athletes…

I want one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me Give me one moment in time
When I’m racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

Take note. She only asked for one moment in time.

Nontheless, the best revenge is success. So if Fabriga and Pahoyo want to redeem themselves, the only way to do it is to succeed next time. And if Filipinos want to pray for them, the best prayer to say is that there be a “next time”. Whitney Houston might not be as optimistic.

59 Replies to “Is being ‘unprepared’ to compete in an international sporting event a valid excuse to fail?”

  1. The performance of these athletes and their supporters is further evidence that backs up why the country is the way it is: because people do not adhere to any high standard of excellence and nobody wants to hold any accountability for anything.

  2. I just have one question.
    Why did those 2 athletes compete anyway, knowing they were ill-prepared? Couldnt they have said to their coach/trainer: “trainer, listen, we are so poorly trained and prepared, it will be a disgrace to perform? Pls take us out of the competition. And if you dont take us out, we will do it ourselves?”

    1. I don’t think they have an idea of how ill prepared they were. There was an fb status of one of them congratulating the other in that they were able to “perfect” their routine in 4 days’ time.

      Seasoned athletes spends months, years, perfecting their craft, and here we have two men who “perfect” their routine in 4 days.

      It’s a big thing for athletes to compete in the SEA games. They must’ve figured they’ll go anyways and “bahala na”.

  3. GRP , medyo brutal ito. Both athletes already knew that they have failed.

    I don’t see any problem with your site pointing out every mistake we Filipinos make.

    However, you could have scrutinized our nation generally or use a different analogy instead of pointing out the failures of two specific persons, or you could have written it differently if mentioning them is really needed.

    Trust me, even if it is not intentional na ipahiya, hinde maganda ang dating.

    Nang gamit kayo ng dalawang taong napahiya na nga sa buong mundo para lang ma emphasize yung point nyo.

    I’m not a journalist, but there must be better way of influencing your readers.

    Perhaps a seminar or a pep talk from a professional journalist is needed by some of your writers.

    In general, nobody wants to fail. More power to GRP.

    1. I agree. Instead of focusing on the failures of these 2 athletes, GRP could have addressed the bigger picture – that we are not able to provide better training for these athletes because there hasn’t been much support and government funding for sports.

      I understand that other Filipino athletes were still able to win medals but most were in the fields of boxing, billiards and softball. Facilities for these are readily available in the Philippines. Diving pools are different.

      1. I agree. Instead of focusing on the failures of these 2 athletes, GRP could have addressed the bigger picture – that we are not able to provide better training for these athletes because there hasn’t been much support and government funding for sports.

        Why don’t they just quit from competing and protest that they won’t join the diving contest due to lack of government support?

        1. That, I don’t know but we can just speculate.

          Perhaps as athletes, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be in an international tournament. Perhaps they were there to gain experience or just after the athlete’s allowance.

          I highly doubt 2 athletes, who were previously unknown, could have made an impact and gain media attention by declining to participate at the SEA games as a form of protest.

          Having prepared for only 4 days was still in very poor taste though.

    2. Hindi ako sure pero nasulat yata ‘to dahil sa post ng isang athlete sa FB at mga reaction ng mga tao ro’n. Mali naman kasi na nag-release siya ng ganitong statement sa social media account n’ya at sadyang naka-Public pa.

      “Yey! I’m so proud of us pakner John Fabriga, we really did our best despite of we just practiced this synchro dives for just 4 days, even though we failed to win, but atleast we did overcame what we once knew was out limit, and that makes us a champion”

      They still found reason to be proud kahit natalo sila? They did their best then sasabihin 4 days lang sila nag-practice? They overcome their limit by performing worse than their initial performance or joining even if they’re not prepared and that makes them a champion? To think SEA Games ‘yon ‘di naman pipitsuging contest ng palakasan. Bakit ka sasali ng hindi prepared? Proud at masaya pa rin sa kabila ng pagkabigo o pagkatalo. ‘Di proportionate ‘yong reaksyon sa aksyon. Dahilan ‘yon para makuntento na lang sa kulang o pwede na. ‘Yon ngang batang may petty mistake o mababang grades sa school pinapalo at pinapagalitan ng magulang para magtanda o mag-perform better, ‘yong adult i-chi-cheer pa kahit natalo [see the replies sa post]? ‘Yon ngang bata takot humarap sa magulang kapag may bagsak na grade, ‘yong adult nag-fail proud pa rin? Salamin din ‘to sa kung bakit mga tao sa gobyerno natin proud pa rin kahit walang pag-unlad sa bansa.

      1. Yeah. I guess that particular statement struck the ire of most netizens.

        However, the statement he made about their 4 days practice was in reference to their synchro dives. If you look at the video in the link below, they seem to have done alright in synchro dives.

        Where they each failed (horribly) were during their solo dives.

        The media should have really thought this through and also took consideration of their other successful dives instead of crucifying them each for the one dive they both failed in.

        Their failures were severely sensationalized.

    3. *facepalm*… quit trying to justify this failure by the diving organizers. It never should have happened, and should never ever happen again!

      why bash the reporter when you should be focusing on the reported, for cryin out loud….

    1. Unqualified si Pinoy? And who are qualified? Si GMA na nakakulong pa rin dahil sa kabalbalag hinawa? Si jinggoy estrada.?si bong revilla? Si enrile? If your definition of a qualified presidentiable id that of yhe qualities of these people mentioned then tama ka hundi nga qualified so BS Aquino

      1. Hindi naman siya talaga unqualified. Kaya siya nanalo dahil sa pangalan lang. You fail to mention Gordon, Bayani, Duterte, Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

        Ika nga ni Gordon sa kanyang tweet: “Leadership is ACTION, not a title.” Sadly, yun nga talaga si Noynoy Aquino, as he is proven that he’s incompetent.

        Stop being one-sided and set your priorities for once.

        1. I think the problem as to why these folks choose leaders based on the titles than their records lies to the fact that Filipinos’ are fixated to what is superficial.

          And when I say superficial I mean our folks are engrossed over celebrities and trapos no wonder why our ship is sinking.

    2. Nah he didn’t said that moron. You are. And you’re too dumb to look at the real candidates with concrete vision.

    3. actually, he is. any bozo above 40, etc, etc, can become president. it’s not even the low eligibility standards that are to blame here. it’s the filipino bobotante

  4. Both of them are disgrace to our country..they are not even qualified to be called as athlete; athletes are focus, dedicated and professional.

    1. Pointing out what is wrong about the athletes and telling the truth so that next time they’ll improve and not join the competition unprepared is a disgrace? Have you even really read and digested everything written in the article.

      Disgraceful you are, as Yoda would have said.

  5. they can feel the shame more than you… we have no right bashing people in front of the computer killing the time by bashing

  6. Q: Is being ‘unprepared’ to compete in an international sporting event a valid excuse to fail?

    A: Nope.

  7. “And, yes, the failure of Filipino divers John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo in this year’s Southeast Asian Games is a failure of ALL Filipinos.”

    According to GRP, when individual Pinoys succeed at something, the whole nation can’t claim credit or bask in their glory — but also according to GRP, when individual Pinoys fail at something, no, it’s OUR OWN DAMN FAULT!?!

    Our own damn fault at what, precisely? Lemme take a swig at it: if they were born Singaporeans and failed this way, GRP in all its graciousness will blame them and coaching staff or whoever minds them as per diving events and not all other Singaporeans for being so damn… unprepared, because Singapore after all is the bestest best place on the whole wide earth. But because by the grace of Robert Mugabe’s armpits they were born Pinoys, who after all are the scum of the earth — except those have succeeded in life, who aren’t really Pinoys but are… aliens! little brown men! that’s what they are! just! not! Pinoys! their purities must not be sullied! — GRP with all the delicacy of my least favorite uncle’s sandpaper voice screeching a few octaves above normal when trying to sing has decreed them not only pathetic but infected. By what? The Pinoy virus. The vectors? Fellow Pinoys, carriers of iniquity misery indolence wherever they go.

    OK, enough of that. But allow me to conclude with a question to Kate (and by extension, to benign0, who has made it his mission to sneak in references to his favorite president at the oddest moments because bullshit makes everything smellier):

    Is the frustration getting to you guys? I mean, blaming every single Pinoy for the failures of just 2 divers. Strikes me as a tad cruel, if nothing else.

    1. I’ll leave the actual cut-and-thrust to those who actually know something about diving — I’m just here because it’s GRP, because it’s Kate Natividad humming to Soft Cell again, and because I actually know something about mountebanks pronouncements and nonesuch.

      1. Oh right, you’re not that “frustrated”: this site is here and generating a fair bit of online noise with articles like these.

        What I meant by “frustration” is this: How likely is it that most of us Pinoys are going to swallow what is so obviously coated with such contempt and spite for anything and everything Pinoy, even to the point of brazen contradiction? “Everything Noynoy does is wrong, everything Pinoys do is wrong, burn fucking everything.” I don’t know, but stating that day in day out — that will leave me empty inside.

        1. Well, the evidence of how Pinoys generally got it all wrong is pretty much staring us in our faces, isn’t it?

          But humor me. What have Filipinos done that you’d consider to be ‘right’? And I mean that at a COLLECTIVE level. So don’t go citing examples of INDIVIDUALS like Lea Salonga please.

        2. And by the way, great timing Mr. Pallacertus. As I write this, I’m eating my reheated dinner only now at 10 in the evening after being stuck in traffic for more than 2 hours. So, trying to persuade me of how Filipinos as a people somehow “got it right” in some way only your imagination can think up won’t fly with me at this moment.

        3. Pallacertus you are still in denial.
          Correct the writers and give substantial evidences that our country is really doing good generally speaking when MUCH of what it is until now could have been done better after more than 25 years since EDSA revolution.

    2. Hmmm… Seems you didn’t get the point of my article. Nowhere in that article did I blame “every single Pinoy for the failures of just 2 divers”.

      Other than that, I don’t really feel the need to explain anything further seeing that you already have pretty much formulated your take on my work and convinced yourself thoroughly of the validity of said take. :*

      1. Not related to the topic, but Kate, is that really you in your user pic? You look super sexy and give off a sensual in bed kind of face.

        Just my honest opinion, no offense meant.

  8. My dog, “Fido”, would had done a better job, in the Asian Olympics…than these two Jokers…”Nakakkahiya!!!”

  9. One of the great hypocrisies of some Filipinos Free Riders, is that when a Filipino wins something abroad, they will flock to this and say, “Hey! This is a Filipino like us! So respect us!” But if the Filipinos lose, like the above case, they will use a ten-foot-pole or greater to separate themselves from the case. “Nakakahiya yan!” “I-disown na yan!” Such is the Filipino concern with form over substance that they are averse to shames that they should responsibly bear.

    1. Fair enough. But while you’re at it, Chino, why don’t you admit to yourself that GRP is applying the same hypocrisy in reverse?

      Let me elaborate. Whenever an individual Filipino (or even someone of mixed heritage) generates accolades overseas, people here at GRP are very careful stating that the rest of his countrymen have nothing to do with his development into a success story — but when an individual Filipino becomes a laughingstock for his failures, it cannot be his fault alone — it must be OUR FAULT! EACH AND EVERY OTHER PINOY’S FAULT!! HE WAS BORN AND RAISED HERE, AFTER ALL!!!

      I don’t know if that strikes you at all. It does for me — not because I don’t like seeing us Pinoys pilloried here on a daily basis — but because none of us deserve to be blamed for the divers’ failure to prepare. Or the coaching staff’s inability to cope adequately. Or whatever evaluating body’s unfitness to, well, evaluate the readiness of Filipino athletes about to go to events like the SEA Games.

      1. No, you got it wrong. We not saying it is everyone’s fault the divers acted incompetently. We are just saying that the same incompetence observed in them is very much observed in other areas in Philippine society. And of course, what we see in society as compared to these divers is certainly much worse. Take for example the incompetence in managing the MRT. What Benign0 below said about this sports flub being a reflection of the society it came from.

        Unfortunately, even if you don’t like seeing Pinoys “pilloried” here, there is a lot to pillory. And that is our job, whether you like it or not.

    2. It’s simple, really. The Philippines as a whole is a failed nation. So failure of individual members of that nation readily reflect that fact.

      Winning Filipino individuals, on the other hand are population outliers that are NOT consistent with the Filipino collective archetype that is behind the collective failure that is “the Philippines”.

      So there is no hypocrisy in either case as we remain consistent (as only GRP can) in the ideas we serve in this fine site. 😀

  10. These two Divers sucks! Hindi naman pala preparado why they accepted to represent the Philippines. Hindi pala sila qualified.Sino ba ang nag approve sa kanila? Nakakahiya!

  11. Dirty Politics, influence peddling, palakasan, greediness. corruption and what have you is rampant in Philippine Sports headed by this Traditional Politician Peping Cojuangco. Take the case of the high handedness they resort in taking over the reign of Philippine Volleyball because of the smell of Money. The result is failure in the ongoing volleyball competition in SEAG. Philippine Sports and Philippine politics is going to the dogs in the highly hyped Tuwad na Daan.

  12. At the end of the day, that gave you a laugh. At that event it’s hard to laugh at them out of respect but surely they were trying real hard not to laugh and perhaps when they see the replay they will laugh at this.

    We seem to have a steady stream of uninteresting, untalented, mediocre “sportspeople” who we’re forced to cheer for and care for. No wonder I can’t cheer for that. No wonder I could care less about every single idiot behind the scenes and especially those idiots that put those two together and now has deteriorated to a worldwide laughing stock.

    Now, People should stop romanticizing defeat. People should stop settling for mediocrity. Because mediocrity isn’t excellence, the problem is people have been led to believe that way. It is never ok. They must step up and for those two, MAN UP!

  13. and here’s where grp got it wrong.

    their failure is not my failure, in the same way that their success is not my success.

    let me put it in another way: my success is not their success. yeh, sounds better.

    because if we’re really against pinoy pride for successes, why suddenly include all filipinos during failures? because these 2 are simply complementary parts of an ill-conceived notion.

    if you’re gonna burn them for their fuck-ups, burn them alone. if they bring home all the bacon, celebrate them alone.

    1. When an individual Pinoy succeeds, there is nothing about Philippine society that accounts for that success at a collective level.

      But when an individual Pinoy fails, there is a lot about that failure that can be accounted for by Philippine society overall.

      It’s simple, really.

    1. @Mags, I read Benign0’s very short post about it, it’s only as if he’s just reporting, stating facts. It’s the people who are quick to react and think negatively and not even about the content but about GRP and the author. Same goes here. Pahoyo and Fabriga’s lost triggered something negative in the characters of Pinoys, there’s no doubt about that. And if we don’t call on that wrong behavior, it will continue to pester our society. Kate’s post may have taken the two athletes as an example but there’s more in the article than bashing these people.

  14. if a pinoy does well, hindi pwedeng makisawsaw yung iba.

    but if a pinoy does something poorly, all of a sudden it’s the fault of the entire nation


    if you praise, praise alone. if burn, burn alone.

    1. You can also look at it this way: How come those who were quick to credit Pacquiao’s success to Philippine society distance themselves from the failures of Filipinos like these two divers?

  15. Some of you are missing the writers point! “JUST DON’T SEND SOMEONE WHO IS NOT PREPARED TO COMPETE! “. Kung hindi prepared wag sumali…hindi naman kailangan na lahat ng event kasali tayo. Give also credit and respect to those athletes who trained years just to be even considered to join SEA games…yun ang may mga karapatang magsabi na they did their best kapag natalo. Wala bang screening ang mga athletes natin para malaman kung may kakayanan sila to join. Parang kahit sino pwede nlng sumali. Come on even ncaa and uaap and even palarong pambansa have screenings for players…then this this 2? Oo nakakahiya na nagpadala tayo ng atleta na hindi preparado habang yun ibang bansa gumastos ng milyon milyon para itrain ang athletes nila. Again…wag ipilit sumali kung kulang ang preparasyon.

    1. Alam mo naman ang karamihan ng mga ibang nag-kumento na bira agad sa article na ito – mga hindi “na-gets” at halatang tumalon lang ang punto ng artikulo sa kanilang bumbunan.

      Parang takbo yan sa full marathon – hindi ka basta-basta sasali kung alam mong hindi ka tatagal at uubra sa matagal na takbo at kulang na kulang ang ensayo mo. Alam mo ang sarili mo at kakayahan at tatanungin mo muna kung kakayanin ko ito o hindi at baka lang bumulagta ka sa takbo sa sobrang pagod (at iba, baka mamatay na lang). Kung maglalakad ka lang sa takbuhang ito eh pagtitinginan ka lang ng ibang talagang nag-ensayo para sa takbong ito – sumali-sali ka pa tapos yan lang pala gagawin mo? Tapos pag tinapos mo sa lakaran lang sasabihin mo “yehey natapos ko rin ang full marathon at nabuhay pa, proud me” eh alam ng karamihan hindi ka naman tumakbo ng maayos man lang ah.

      Mag-isip-isip nga muna.

  16. The idea of sending an unprepared, ill-trained athletes to compete in a sporting event sums how the Philippines do business, do you remember the hongkong bus hostage incident when they send those police to storm the hijacker, we all know what happen, now in sports, history really repeats itself specially if u live in the Philippines.

  17. Hi Kate! I just got to say that I love the reference you made about John Mason from the Rock. That is exactly what I thought when these 2 athletes mentioned that they did their best and are still proud of “whatever” they accomplished.

    1. Thanks Angel! Actually it was Benign0 who originally started using that quote a lot way back even before I discovered GRP! 🙂

  18. In response to the alleged “hypocrisy” being exercised by GRP members.

    Lets put it this way.

    Pacquiao or some local singer or performer who made it big on international stage are NOT a product of the Philippine system. If anything, just like in case of Pacquiao, the system drove him to become a boxer because he had NO OTHER OPTIONS to make a living. Filipinos have NOTHING substantial support to have enabled Pacquiao to improve his game to what he is today, he can thank his Training Coaches for that.
    And NO, prayers and tweeted moral support do not count.

    Now here you have athletes that are supposed to be the PRODUCT of the Philippine Sports Program.

    A Sports program by your National Government that REPRESENTS the Pinoys.

    A Sports Program FUNDED BY your pinoy taxes.

    A Sports Bureau managed by heads APPOINTED by the government leaders pinoys ELECTED.

    Now looking at those circumstance, its obvious that pinoys have MORE AT STAKE to these divers compared to Pacquiao.

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