These 5 ice skaters are ready to kick off and get back on ice

Feb 22, 2022 0 comments


As the 2022 Beijing Olympics commence, we are ecstatic to cheer for Philippine’s Asa Miller as the nation’s lone Alpine skier athlete represents our country and watch fire blaze on ice in what we’ll about to witness in this year’s Winter Olympics.


Although, we will be missing Michael Christian Martinez - the first skater from a tropical country to represent Southeast Asia and qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics as the country's only athlete, and once again at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In a tropical country like ours, where it is rare to be heard of as someone being interested in an ice sport, Michael also started his first step at an ice rink inside a mall before and has begun training ever since.


These 5 athletes defied the odds and shared with us their stories, despite being in a tropical country and amidst the pandemic, there's nothing preventing them from getting back up after a fall and stand back up and do more to become who they want to be; they regard the ice skating rink to be their second home, and it will be a part of them for the rest of their lives.


Aurora Widwidan

Aurora has been skating for 28 yrs now. She started back in 1993 when the MRT in EDSA was still under construction, working in Makati city back then, she usually stops at SM Megamall to watch people graciously skating and eventually thought this is the one that she likes where every after work she had lessons and lessons. Sadly, Aurora's mother died of a stroke in May 2020, and her husband succumbed COVID in April 2021, just a few months later. Her sister, however, invited her to Dubai in May 2021, where she stayed for five months and participated in a few ice programs, skating virtually every day.


“During my freetime I do core strengthening exercises and baton twirling. I also look after my father who is now 89 years old but living in the province so we have video call almost everyday”

Her ultimate aim as a skater, though, is to land her loop jump and continue skating until she can no more, possibly until she is 80 or 90 years old. She wants to show people that ice skating is not just for young people, but also for adults and people of all ages, and that it is a joyful, enjoyable, and graceful activity.


Kihyan Chua-Yap



Who would've thought that the main baker/ cake artist of one of the most popular minimalist Korean cake and also a co-owner of Aegyo Cakes is also a Figure Skating coach? Started when the first ECQ ended and the business has grown more than ever.


“With the rinks closed, I tried to coach online. But with my student's school work piling up and my adult skaters working harder at home, Online Off Ice training stopped after a few months”


Kihyan's body changed radically as she conducted less physical activities, added to that, is how the pandemic gave a negative impact on her mental health.


“The rink was like our second home and losing it was like losing your home” she added.


She also bought a pair of artistic roller skates and gradually re-learned some of the aspects and ice skating skills on wheels, despite things were more difficult to learn and they were skating in parking lots, nothing beats the cool breeze and the sound of the edges on ice.


Even if communication has been a struggle for Kihyan she also talked about the importance of her relationship with her students.. Seeing her students mature, fail, rise up, and progress while having a great time on the ice and making memories is what she’s looking forward to now that the skating rink is back. “As a coach, I think having my job back again is always a great thing” she exclaimed.


Charmaine Skye Chua



Charmaine Skye Chua discovered her interest in figure skating as a method to express herself after witnessing the beauty and strength with which skaters glide around the ice. For the past 11 years. Being a member of the Philippine National Figure Skating Team, she has competed both locally and internationally. She continued her off-ice training and added pilates to her routine for added strength. She practiced in the United States for a month around September 2021 last year to prepare for a competition because the ice skating rinks were closed. Skye is eager to return to continuous training and resume her previous level of performance and pick up from where she left off. She is looking forward to gaining more experience and being able to train with her friends. Despite the fact that she was able to train in the United States, the sense of skating here provides her a particular exhilaration that she misses the most.


Justine Mendoza



Before the pandemic, Justine Mendoza used to skate at the SM Megamall skating rink and skate 2-4 times a week where he considers it as his home rink. Justine really felt devastated when they completely closed all the ice rinks because he felt like he lost his home. He was afraid of losing all of his progress but a type of skating rose to its popularity once again as a result of the lockdown. For decades, roller and inline skating have been popular in the Philippines, but the pandemic has spurred many more people to try it because it is something they can do at home and alone. Thanks to a Facebook group he joined, called “Everywhere We Skate Ph” since they didn't have access to a rink and were yearning to skate, he discovered other enthusiasts in the group. The timing was particularly ideal because the number of Covid-19 cases was declining at the time he added. He went out and got a new pair of inline skates and resumed skating. He hopes that more ice skating rinks will open in the future, as going from Quezon City to the Mall of Asia can be hard and costly. Justine is aiming to train once again and bag more medals from local and international competitions.


Angelo Ampil



Apart from finally being able to do one of his favorite hobbies, Angelo Ampil has numerous reasons to be happy now that the ice skating rink is open, like finally seeing his friends and coaches, eating fries at the side of the rink and the great workout he gets by just skating!


What he missed the most is the feeling of just gliding on the ice and says that the feeling isn’t like any other, added to that is the feeling of nailing an element you’ve trained for so long. Adjusting with not having an ice to skate on was difficult but as he saw his coach skating on inline skates. He felt they were extremely pricey, but Angelo worked hard enough to finally be able to save enough and purchase a pair for himself. He didn't find the skating technique to be exactly the same at first, but with a little tweaks here and there, he was able to reclaim a little bit of his enjoyment. He hopes to begin lessons in February and has resumed off-ice training since then.



━━ Written By  Corinne Molly Martinez 
━━  Art By Metroscene Mag


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