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Veteran Rubilen Amit joins PSC in imparting media relation basics to incoming sports sensations

Young athletes got to learn how to deal with reporters and even got additional insights from veterans. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—For someone who has been a pro for nearly two decades already and is now used to getting interviewed even by international reporters, Rubilen Amit doesn't really need to be a participant in a media relations training seminar organized by the Philippine Sports Commission as part of its International Women's Month celebration.

However, the billiards star was in attendance during the tail-end of the midweek event at the Orchid Garden Suites here.

Due to the capacity limit inside the hotel's function room and the continuous threat of COVID-19, the female athletes young and old were divided into two groups, and Amit was placed in the "Thursday Group".

When asked why she still needed to attend the seminar when she already is media-savvy enough, Amit said that it is her way to share what she has already learned in dealing with the media with the younger generation.

"Kanina, I was sharing a bit with some of the sepak takraw athletes. Sinabi ko, 'Coming from an athlete for over 15 years already, you'll reach a point din na you'll see the same people and you'll get comfortable, and then parang kwentuhan na lang siya,'" Amit said. "Ngayon, growing older, I try to impart it also to the younger athletes."

Most of the participants—at least those in attendance on Thursday—were Gen Z athletes who might have only met the media for the very first time.

She then admitted that there were some moments early into her career in which she had to flaunt herself too much during interviews which probably did not sit well with scribes.

"When I started out, may ego. Parang gusto ko to be this and that to prove myself, so sa interviews ko, parang gusto ko minsan magpasikat," Amit further said. "That was more of me wanting respect agad without earning it yet."

As her career continued, however, she was able to learn how she can properly say what went right and wrong with her performance.

"Wala namang correction eh. It was more of a natural process for me na naging comfortable. Kung meron man akong mga hindi ganun kagandang interviews, it was a learning process for me," Amit further said. "Ngayon, ang mindset ko is 'How can I share and give value to others?' With that mindset, I'm able to talk comfortably and from the heart."

Some karatekas also in attendance during Day 2 of the media relation training event were glad that Amit shared her insights on dealing with reporters with them.

"I see her as an inspiration as a rising athlete because she went through several competitions so, therefore, she experienced a lot of things. Therefore when you look into her experiences, you will also a lot from her, and with that, you will see that as a tool for you to improve yourself and grow as an athlete," said Allison Quiroga.

"It's such a privilege na nakikinig lang ako sa mga paguusap nila about mga advice ni Ma'am Rubilen," added Rica Perez.

The media relation training seminar was an initiative of PSC commissioner Bong Coo.

Veteran sportswriter Lito Cinco and veteran sportscaster Patricia Hizon were tapped as resource speakers and virtual mentors during the two-day event.

Reporters from various media platforms were invited too on separate days so the participants can apply what they learned from Cinco and Hizon.

The reporters also gave some advice on how the athletes can improve their media relations.

PSC chairman Dickie Bachmann and commissioner Walter Torres attended Day 2 as well.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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