Share this on:
About this iReport
  • Not vetted for CNN

  • Click to view Christine17's profile
    Posted December 9, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The written word: Your personal essays

    Triumph Of The Human Spirit

    Joy Calimlim Habana, 42, father to Jean April, Jazztine, and Jazmin, married to Adoracion N. Habana, is a paralympic gold medalist. He finished first in the 100 meter dash in the 1989 Paralympic games held at the Manila Memorial Coliseum clocking in at 18secs.

    Born with an orthopedic impairment, Joy, as his friends call him, grew up with his adoptive parents Mr. Epifanio A. Habana and Mrs. Minda C. Habana in Pasay City. He took a computer course in La Salle Taft and also took vocational courses in Tailoring and Massage Therapy. Joy said, he took up Tailoring because wanted to help his parents manage their tailoring shop (Winterhouse Garments) located in Cartimar, Pasay City.

    Joy Habana is an avid runner. He amazes himself sometimes, he confesses, when he learns that he has done more than what most people without physical disabilities had done. He's into badminton and table tennis. He also rides his mountain bike when traveling long distances, and his latest interest is in rappelling. Joy is not yet a member of any mountaineers club, but he saw what his able bodied friends are doing and said to himself 'I can do that, too'. He went with his friends, the Banahaw Alitaptap Mountaineers to Mt. Banahaw. There, his friends taught him the basics first and allowed him to try his hand at rappelling. Joy said he is not afraid of doing it (rappelling) no matter how high it will be.

    Asked about what motivates him in life he answers:

    "Being a runner, mula po kasi nang naging runner (ako) sa marathon, inisip ko na kung hindi ko tatapusin ang takbo, wala akong natatapos at parang walang fulfillment sa buhay. Kung sa realidad kailangan kung ano ang naumpisahan ko kailangan tapusin ko ito para sa kinabukasan ko. Sa marathon kasi pag hindi ka nakatapos sa finish line kinukuha ka na ng marshal at dadalhin ka nila sa finish line. Mula noon sabi ko kailangan kong matapos ang run para may masabi ako na kinaya ko na tapusin ito gaano man ito kalayo". (When I started running, I was thinking, if I am not going to finish this (run) I finished nothing, there is no fulfillment. In reality, what I started, I have to finish. It is my future. In marathon, if you do not reach the finish line, the marshal will take you and bring you to the finish line. From then on, I decided to myself that I will get to the finish line no matter how far it will be, so I can tell myself that I made it).

    Joy is the treasurer at the City Federation of the Person With Disability in Dasmarinas City, province of Cavite. In the recently held first PWDs Got Talent Search, sponsored by the city government, Joy is the first runner up in the Dance competition. He has this to say: "Ang layunin namin ay ang isulong ang karapatan ng bawat PWD sa lipunan at huwag silang mabalewala" (Our mission is to promote the rights of every Person with Disability (PWD) in the society and show the world that PWDs matter, too).

    What do you think of this story?

    Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
    Be and editor! Choose an option below:
      Awesome! Put this on TV! Almost! Needs work. This submission violates iReport's community guidelines.


    Log in to comment

    iReport welcomes a lively discussion, so comments on iReports are not pre-screened before they post. See the iReport community guidelines for details about content that is not welcome on iReport.

    Add your Story Add your Story