I’M not the sort who is surprised when we see athletes succeed or do something extraordinary outside the sport of their specialty. Not every athlete is one-dimensional. But there are those who will still surprise you because of their strength of conviction.
Former La Salle Lady Spiker setter Kaye Martinez is one such athlete who you should know about and even tell others so they will be inspired.
She was a walk-in to Ramil de Jesus’s volleyball machine. She didn’t even come from a heralded high school program in OB Montessori. She didn’t even make the University Athletic Association of the Philippines quad right away as she was slotted into Team B.
And unlike most who take might courses, Kaye took up Civil Engineering. Her coach even made a bet that she will drop her course in favor of something lighter.
I wonder if Coach Ramil ever did get around to paying Kaye because not only did she graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering, but she also was the starting setter of her UAAP title team. The first starting six members to finish with such a degree and was a board passer as well.
Now, that isn’t even the most remarkable thing Kaye has done.
After briefly working for her father’s construction company, she took her masters in sustainability at Philadelphia University. She wasn’t planning to return to the Philippines as she was looking forward to building a new life there in the United States.
As she told me, she didn’t want to have her child grow up in an environment that will be severely affected by climate change. But she cannot think about the future too much. What matters more is the here and now.
So she came back to put into practice what she learned and believes in—teaching the people about what we can do to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.
She realized that teaching this in La Salle wasn’t going to make much of an impact as she came to the realization that if one wanted to effect change, he or she should do it within the realm of government as they were in a position to do so.
So she ran for a councilor’s seat in her hometown of Sta. Maria, Bulacan. She campaigned on the platform of sustainability, no doubt, not what most people want to hear. And Martinez won.
What was also significant about the win was she was the first independent candidate to win a seat. That raised plenty of eyebrows in her hometown.
However, if there is anything about Martinez is she isn’t your conventional sort. And when challenged, she will not just work to prove you wrong, but also to show that what she is campaigning for is the right thing for the people in her hometown.
Seeing the landscape in her locale, Kaye has decided to take it to a higher level…a congressional seat.
Now, this is the territory of the big boys and trapos. Kaye isn’t there for whatever that drives them. She needs to do something on a higher level if she wants to give not only Sta. Maria, but also the country, a fighting chance against climate change.
This isn’t something simple as raising your hands in surrender and saying, “We’re wrong and we’ll stop.” Mother Nature cannot be tamed.
Why is she pursuing this with every fiber in her body? Because our country is and will continue to be one of the hardest hit by global warming. The effects have been devastating and yet, I wonder if our government even has a plan to deal with it.
If they aren’t willing to do it because they have their own agendas, then let the lady have a congressional seat.
You hear the saying “the youth are the future leaders of this country” and well, it is time for them to inherit the mess the oldies, misguided, thieves, and liars have left us.
It is time to give the Kaye Martinezes a chance to make a real difference. We hope you remember that on election day.