NEW CLARK CITY -- Multi-Southeast Asian Games medalist Christine Jacob-Sandejas could only hope she was born in this era as she witnessed history unfold at the Aquatics Center when James Deiparine took the first gold of the Philippines since 2009 in swimming.
The former national team swimmer admitted she was emotional watching the new breed of Filipino tankers fighting for the Philippine flag which she did several years back.
"I can’t believe it. ‘Cause I think, swimming has been hit hard the past few years, not having been able to really bring home the golds right?" Jacob-Sandejas said. "Ngayon na lang nagsa-sprout, bumubunga ‘yung swimming."
Standing beside the huge crowd at the New Clark City made her reminisce about her own experience as an athlete.
Jacob-Sandejas, who is now a TV reporter, jokingly quipped she would have wanted to break records in swimming today and compete against the current batch of swimmers in the region.
"Too many memories. Sabi ko, I think I was born on the wrong time, I should’ve been born now and to be able to swim in a fast pool and have so many records being broken," she bared.
Jacob carried the Philippine flag in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and joined three editions of the SEA Games (1981, 1983, 1985).
She won the gold medal in the 1983 Singapore SEA Games and clinched several silver and bronze chips in 1981 and 1985.
Jacob-Sandejas could not be more proud with the performance of the Philippine team in this year's meet but she is also hoping the program continues to move forward.
"Expect a lot of exciting things to finally happen for Philippine swimming. It takes a long time, it just doesn’t happen overnight. You really have to train them when they’re young and then now lang we’re starting to reap all the benefits," the former actress said.
"I am so proud. I think not only me but even the Filipinos watching, they are proud to have been able to witness history right here at home on Philippine soil. It made it so special," she said after Deiparine's win in the men's 100-meter breaststroke.
Times may have changed but the Filipino crowd remained the same, according to the TV personality.
"I think the crowd will always be the same, no matter how many years down the road because pagdating sa Pinoy, tayo talaga ang nakiki-cheer sa isa’t-isa. So I think the crowd is just amazing as it was in ’81 and now in 2019," she concluded.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.