Mervien Jules Mirandilla, a 20year old swimmer, who started to swim when he was in his 1st grade. He’s one of the first swimmer of Killer Whale when it was founded.
Jules shared why he started to swim at a very young age and his reason as well on why he started swimming, and it was a bit tragic.
“Nung bata ako nalunod ako.“
He said that he didn’t really have any interest in swimming back then.
“Kakilala ni papa si coach and nirecommend ni coach ang swimming. Sa una wala naman akong pake (sa swimming). Nung una ayoko pa mag swimming. Ang motivation ko lang dati binibigyan ako ni papa ng bente pesos para mag training lang.“
“Pag dating ko ng grade 3 parang naging mahal ko na ang swimming.” Wampipty na kasi ang motivation nya!! (just kidding)
“And nung grade 6 dun na nag simula ang lahat. First time ko mag medal sa STCAA. Walang nakakakilala sakin.“
Nung grade 7 hindi ako nakapasok ng palaro kasi highschool na ako.Pero sa sobrang gusto ko ulit mag palaro nag grind ako. Di ko din akalain na makakapasok ako (sa palarong pambansa) nang grade 8. Hangang sa nag tuloy tuloy.
Jules Mirandilla is a very hardworking person with a very strong mindset. When he puts his mind into something, he makes sure that he will make his goal happen.
He said that back in grade 6, he felt that he has a potential in swimming, that’s why he started to set a goal of qualifying in one of the biggest competition for him that time, the Palarong Pambansa.
As a student athlete, Jules expressed how swimming helped him when it comes to his academics;
“Unang una nakapag aral ako sa school ko ngayon sa University of Sto. Tomas.“
He was recruited by a lot of well-known schools back when he was in high school, and he chose to join UST when he was at grade 11.
At first he said it was hard to be away from his hometown and his family to pursue his dreams, but he managed to adapt because he met a lot of great people in his stay there.
Jules’ typical day in UST as an athlete would be;
“Pag gising sa umaga, training, then school, after school training ulit tapos balik na sa dorm. Paulit ulit lang yung cycle na yun.“
He also shared how it felt when Jules, along with his teammate, JN were the only ones training in their school’s training ground during off season.
“Buhay ko na kasi ang swimming eh. Yung typical day ko nga sa nabanggit kanina; swimming, swimming, dorm ganun. Ano pa ang gagawin ko kung walang swimming? Mababaliw lang siguro ako sa dorm.“
Dealing with Mental Health
Jules from time to time opens up to his teammates on his sleeping issues. He finds it hard to sleep every night. When asked how he still manages to train the next morning, he said;
“Pag minsan kasi di ako nakakatulog. Nakapikit lang ako mga isang oras tapos pag alam kong di ko na kayang matulog nag c-cellphone nalang ako. “
Nag t-training naman ako. Nitong mga nakaraang months nag t-training naman ako- pinipilit ko kahit nakatulog ako mga 1am tapos ang training ay 6am, pinipilit ko.”
“Pero nagkakasakit ako, di kaya ng katawa ko. Ngayon kapag (di ako nakatulog) pagka lampas ng 12am di na ako (muna) nag t-training kasi ayoko na kasi magka sakit.”
Because of his persistence and how he endures hardships, Jules have been recognized around the country because of his achievement and is known to be the number 1 flyer of the team.
When asked what was his favorite win in the competitions he participated in, he shared;
“Siguro nung Singapore championships nito lang. Kasi yung time ko nun napakagaganda. Kahit di ako masyado nakakapag training, naiibaba ko yung time ko. Sobrang saya lang sa pakiramdam.“
He is one of the swimmers who, despite not having enough training, still managed to get his best time in the competition. This amazing talent made everyone curious and many would always ask him; How do you do it?
“Nasa utak ko nalang talaga yun eh. Kasi wala akong pake (sa mga kalaban ko). Nilalangoy ko nalang yung best ko talaga, AS IN YUNG HANGGANG MAMATAY NA”. he jokingly said; till death.“
This mindset of his is truly amazing! It is really inspiring to see how he believes and shows that nothing is impossible.
From when he begun to his successes now, Killerwhale Head Coach Virgi De Luna have been with him through this process.
Jules expressed how it’s like to have coach Virgi and said;
“Hindi lang sya coach, tatay sya, mentor ganon. Madami syang katauhan sa isang katawan.“
Through his years in swimming Jules learned a lot of lessons from all the different experiences he had.
He wanted to share some tips on how he improves himself and share to the young people who looks up to him.
“Magpatuloy lang kayo! Hindi dapat sumuko agad kung nahihinaan ka sa sarili mo.”
“(1)Manood ka lang ng swimming tips sa youtube, (2) ipa video nyo ang swim mo para macheck mo kung saan ka nagkukulang. (kung) sa competition panget ang langoy mo, (3) ianalyze mo kung san ka nag kamali, san ka nagkulang.“
Coming to and end into this interview, he answered the iconic question of “What is swimming for you?“
“Swimming sakin ay first love ko.”
“Diba maraming nagsasabi na first love never dies.”
“Kahit paulit-ulit na akong parang tinatamad na sa swimming pero mas nabubuhay pa din ang pagmamahal ko sa swimming.”
Despite the challenges he faces and the number of reasons he have to already stop in this sport, he would always go back to the very reasons why he should not and he would always find out that the love and passion he has for swimming is so much greater just to give it up.
Thank you for showing the the love and passion you have for this sport Jules! You truly are an inspiration to all of us!
Here’s the link for the full interview video. Feel free to share if Jules has inspired you in any way.