Bela Louise Magtibay is a 20 years old veteran swimmer of Philippine Killer Whale. She has been a Killer Whale ever since she was 4 years old and now safe to be called the “Ate” of the team.
Bela is currently a Student-Athlete and juggling both sports and studies at the same time takes a toll on her. When asked about it and how she handles this, she said that swimming is her escape from the stress and pressure in life as she feels the freedom when she’s in the water.
In an exclusive interview she was asked why she still choose to continue swimming,
“Sa sobrang tagal ko na sa swimming, nakasanayan ko na sya at malaking part na sya ng buhay ko. There are times na I question myself kung bakit nag s-swim pa ako pero bumabalik pa din talaga ako kasi sobrang nag e-enjoy talaga ako.”
We asked Bela what drives her to swim and the response we got was, her motivation to show up in training everyday is her family. She wants to give her family a good future and give them a stable life. She finds swimming as way to find those opportunities and achieve that dream.
Ever since she started her swimming career, there were a few people who helped her to continue in this expensive sport. A hardship that she experienced and shared was what she had during the pandemic. Those people who were helping her also experienced financial struggles which then affected her since she had to find other means to continue. She also saw the same happened to her family where they themselves experienced the struggle. Despite it, she’s been very grateful to those people and her family who continues to support her to push through with the sport that she loves.
“Medjo nagiging mabigat ang finances para sa swimming career ko.” She jokingly said “Kung may mga extra kayong kahit 50 dyan tumatanggap po ako.”
With the help of swimming, she got the opportunity to study at the top school and university in the Philippines since she was lucky to be offered and given a scholarship in these schools.
Apart from her family, God is also one of her motivations. “Binigyan nya ako ng talent mag swimming eh, kaya kailangan natin gamitin itong gift na to.”
Her proudest achievement in swimming was during the Palarong Pambansa 2017 in Antique when she broke the 200M Breaststroke record.
At that time kasi nung pinanood ko yung video, napakinggan ko si dada and sabi nya “Ah nabreak ni bela yung record” and during that moment naisip ko “Oh my god I made my dada proud!”
Bela, now swimming for 17 years, have been very grateful to this sport since she said that swimming helped her A LOT.
When asked how did swimming helped her in her life and her response;
“Nung elementary ako tinuruan ako ng swimming mag manage ng time. Minsan nag aakit ang mga classmates ko gumala pero I learned how to prioritize what’s important for me.”
“Nung highschool and college naman, nabigyan ako ng scholarship ng La salle and University of the Philippines”
“Swimming also taught me to be disciplined and consistent kaya naman malaki talaga ang naitulong ng swimming sa akin”
She also added that one of the people who taught her so much in her swimming career was Coach Virgi.
“Tiwala, in essence ang natutunan ko kay coach Virgi“. Tiwala sa process and sa sarili.
She wrapped up the interview by saying, “if hindi mo kayang magtiwala sa sarili mo, at least magtiwala ka sa Diyos”
Bela Louise is the life of the party in the team, she makes everyone feel welcomed and makes the training more fun! You will find her as the bubbliest “Ate” of the team. But during this interview, we definitely saw a new side of her.
Let’s all continue to show our support and cheer for Bela in this journey she’s taking. As with everyone, we want to assure her that The Philippine Killerwhale Team will always be right by her.
Watch the full video interview here and also follow her journey on her pages: