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Manila, Philippines

Gaby Gonzalvo patiently trusts timing and process

Photo courtesy of Raphael Grabador

After bracing off the starting block as early as four years old, Gaby Gonzalvo is now gently reaping the benefits of her hard work.


A summer swimming program could solely be just a part of the many activities lined up for a vacation for many kids. The then four-year-old Gaby felt no different than most kids when her parents enrolled her in a summer swimming program until a splash of inspiration hit her upon witnessing the skills of advanced swimmers in the program.

Amazed by the art of the sport, Gaby took a tumble turn and decided to train earnestly. She then joined a swimming club in San Pablo, Laguna, and was introduced to a new instructor from which she received a different kind of training. Though the transition called for a huge adjustment, Gaby concludes that the experience allowed her to grow as a swimmer.

Subsequently, in high school, Gaby transferred to De La Salle Lipa, and there she honed her skills as she joined several regional and national competitions and trained with coaches whom she considers to be a strong influence in her career today.

Photo courtesy of Raphael Grabador


The exposure to various swimming programs and competitions motivated Gaby to train harder, for she has witnessed how the sport can provide opportunities for success. She recognizes that perseverance, discipline, and staying committed to the sport, will get her to achieve her goals.

Real enough, she qualified as a scholar in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and in 2019, she had the opportunity to be one of the university representatives at the 95th season of the NCAA Swimming Championships.


Apart from the struggles that come with balancing her career and academics, the vast shift caused by the pandemic is one of the biggest struggles she’s currently facing as she deals with the new structure of the training program.

“For a swimmer, it’s really vital and important for us to really feel the water,” Gaby stated as she talked about dealing with the new training structure. While this required her huge adjustment, Gaby expressed her gratitude to her coaches who continue to provide optimum online training programs that will help her maintain strength and performance.

The struggles may hold back presumed ways of development, Gaby shared that her faith drives her to trust the timing and process patiently.

“We have to learn to turn the crisis into an opportunity,” Gaby added.

And though restrictions may be a barrier to progress, Gaby stated that the key to maintaining a solid mentality is making the most out of any situation. As we know, there’s no triumph without trials along the way.


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