Kathy is the real champ

As she bids goodbye to University of the Philippines (UP), Kathy Bersola will be leaving a winning legacy.

The 21-year old Bersola may have not won any title in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, but as a sports science student she’s definitely a champion.

The former UAAP best blocker, who led the young and developing Lady Maroons to a pair Final Four finishes in her last two years, attained the highest honors in her graduate studies.

She is a Summa Cum Laude.

Bersola, however, knows that such a prestigious honor isn’t really made of gold like how it looks.

They’re made of sweat, blood and a lot of sacrifices.

Diligence and discipline

Diligence and perseverance – that’s where Bersola banked on for the past five years of her ‘Iska’ life.

It mainly served as a key to manage her commitments to the Lady Maroons as well as her academics.

“Sipag lang at saka discipline.”

And little did we know, despite the strenous training drills under UP head coach Jerry Yee, Bersola bared that she never missed a single class in school.

“Lagi lang ako nakikinig sa class, never akong um-absent.”

But when the Lady Maroons promised to end their 35-year title drought in the UAAP in Season 79, Bersola chose to give up some stuff to make sure that her studies wouldn’t get left behind.

Spending time with her family, friends and joining other school organizations was hugely affected.

“Madami rin na mga sacrifices like time with family, time with friends, time with my org and opportunity to join other orgs wala talaga.”

And with all the challenges came ahead of her grueling journey, Bersola somehow thought to give up.

But she refused to quit.

She reminded herself that she wasn’t raised by her parents as a quitter.

“Meron naman (times I thought of giving up), it lasts for like five seconds then sabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi pwede. I was raised not to be a quitter.”

Childhood dream

Bersola found her calling in the field of medicine since she was 10 years old.

At a very young age, she already knew that she wanted to be a doctor, no thanks to his grandfather’s health condition back then.

“May one incident noong bata pa ako, ‘yung Lolo ko nasa bahay namin kasi nagda-dialysis siya. Then nanonood kami ng TV, nagpapahinga siya, biglang ‘yung sinasaksakan dito (arm) ng tube bumuka and sobrang naglabasan ang dugo.”
“During that time hindi ako natakot, naisip ko lang I wish I could help him, ‘yun lang ang naisip ko, I don’t want to feel helpless sa ganoong situation.”

Now that she’s already medical practitioner at UP Manila (UPM), Bersola plans to take up orthopedic surgery to help her fellow fallen athletes and serve the indigent.

“I’m planning to lean to orthopedic and sports medicine so I could help other athletes as well.”
“Naisip ko rin mag-outreach kaya napili ko mag-medicine proper sa UPM kasi that’s where they build doctors for the masses, ‘yun ang focus nila.”

And that what’s makes her a true champion.