A 50-year-old Filipina joining the national taekwondo team proves that age is definitely just a number.
Yolanda Tabuena, from Cagayan Valley, practiced the sport for five years before becoming a member of the Hong Kong Taekwondo National Team. She is the first Filipino to achieve such accomplishment.
Tabuena works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong for 20 years when she decided to join the Korean combat sport Taekwondo after left with nothing to do during her days off.
Fortunately, she is familiar with the sport because her family in the Philippines are practicing martial arts and black belters. However, with her age, starting something very physically demanding is a huge challenge for Tabuena.
“After my first day of training, I almost could not get up from bed. I was in pain but I needed to work so I would get up each morning like nothing was bothering me. Weeks, months passed by until I got used to it, and before I realized it, I was facing my opponent already,” says Tabuena.
The OFW won various medals throughout her career. She credits her rewards to her supportive master and teammates for never failing to encourage her to do her best especially during competitions. Tabuena also works as instructor in her club because she fluently speaks Cantonese.