Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tim Tebow: An Ethnic Appreciation

M.H. McKee once said, “Integrity is one of several paths. It distinguishes itself from the others because it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost.”

This speaks volumes regarding the importance of character in everyone. Recently, I was checking my Facebook account and came across a video clip of Floyd Mayweather (American boxer) saying racist comments about Manny Pacquiao (Filipino boxer). I immediately felt sorry for Mayweather and those fans that look up to him. Shortly thereafter, I saw an Igorot music video depicting the laziness of an Igorot husband and his poor treatment toward his wife, and felt sorry for my fellow Igorots who are like the man portrayed in the video. Then I saw an inspirational video of Nick Vujicic, a man without arms or legs, talk about character and I became thankful for people like him.  We need more people who can inspire us to become better people.

It is one thing to talk and preach about integrity and character, but it is an entirely different thing to live a life of good character. As I was thinking about this, I began thinking about featuring a Filipino in this blog to use as a great example for character and integrity. Sure, Manny Pacquiao came to mind (and I love him as a boxer), but I wanted someone who went beyond the cliché of perseverance, overcoming obstacles and winning. I wanted someone who excelled in what they did, but also had the ability to change the world for the better; like how U2 is not only a great rock band, but also a great ambassador for love and social justice.

It didn’t take me long to pick this person, so let me introduce you to him. This Filipino was born in Makati City, Philippines, only his skin isn’t brown nor does he have an ounce of Filipino blood in him. He is the son of Pam and Robert Tebow, American missionaries who served in the Philippines at the time. After living in the Philippines for three years, Tim moved to America where he became a football star.
He was home schooled during high school, but was allowed to play for a high school team where he excelled and became Florida’s Mr. Football and a Parade All-American. In college, he became the youngest Heisman trophy winner and led his team, the Florida Gators, to two NCAA National Championships. As great of a football player he is, I did not choose to feature him because of his football accolades and skills.

I chose Tim Tebow because of the kind of person he is in the inside. He recognizes his skills and abilities in football, but more importantly, he uses them to help others become better people. He lives a life of worthy purpose. Just watch the ESPN video below where he is shown doing missionary work in the Philippines instead of hanging out with friends during his summers, and you will see what I am talking about. Today, he has a foundation called “The Tebow Foundation,” and its vision is “To bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” I could go on and on, but instead, I will let the links below tell you more about his life.

Last year when the Philippines and Indonesia was hit by major typhoons and earthquakes, I contacted as many people as possible to organize a fundraiser for the victims. We called it “Relief for Asia.” In the short period we had, we were still able to raise approximately $12,000 to help those victims. I am mentioning this because I never told anyone how Tim Tebow’s example inspired me to take action.

At the time the Florida Gators had just won their fourth straight game, and I was watching highlights of their victory against Kentucky. I recalled the announcers speaking highly of Tebow and then I watched the ESPN special on Tebow showing how he would voluntarily visit the Philippines to do missionary work. Several days went by and I began hearing about the flooding, earthquakes and thousands of lives lost. I immediately thought about my relatives and then I thought of Tebow and how his actions spoke volumes. I could have just prayed and not have done anything else, but I didn’t. The thought of this American kid “doing” something inspired me to begin thinking of ways to “do” something to help.

As our planning and organizing for the fund raiser progressed, our group realized the need for more items for our raffle portion of the event. A part of me wanted to ask the Chicago Bear’s head coach for help, but I was too scared to approach him. After a few days of struggling with the thought of asking him for help, an opportunity arose where I found myself walking alongside him by myself talking about other matters. Believe it or not, Tebow’s famous speech to the media after losing against Ole Miss came to mind and I found the courage to ask him. He liked the idea of our fundraiser and put me in contact with people within the Bears organization.

To the orphan kids in the Philippines whose lives have been touched, Tebow is more than just a football player. He is an inspiration that they are proud to have as a friend. Although I do not know him personally, I am proud to be one of his many fans. Think of how much better the Philippines would be if there were more examples like him living there today.

I was so happy to receive a t-shirt as a gift from my relatives last month. In the front is the big bold word “Igorotak,” which means “I am Igorot.” I wear it with pride just like others who wear shirts stating their Philippine, Irish, American, Mexican and other ethnic pride, but wouldn’t it be nice if another kind of pride prevailed. For example, wouldn’t it be great if non-Igorots wore a shirt saying something like “I am proud to know an Igorot.” For this to happen, we need today’s generation of Igorots to raise their heads and become people of good character and integrity. Contrary to popular belief, this kind of character and integrity isn’t achieved by striving to become a “star” or “idol.” It is achieved by striving to become the best husband, wife, sibling, child, professional, artist, musician and so on . . .








  1. Thank you for posting and sharing this blog. I enjoyed reading it and I would like to say that I'm so impressed with Tim Tebow. He puts God first in all his accomplishments. I'm glad to know that he loves the Philippines where he was born and keeps doing good work towards helping the orphanage in the Philippines. I hope that a lot of football players will follow his good work. God bless his family and I'm sure that God will always guide him through his life. Matago tago tako am-in.

  2. I don't follow American futball at all but I also enjoyed this article and agree with Shirley about the fact that Mr. Tebow has his prioroties correct. There are too many athletes who do not see their opportunity to play as a privelege but rather a entitlement. I may never get caught up in futball America but I already pre ordered a copy of Tim Tebows book. I also look forward to Rexcrisantos book. God bless and best of luck to Mr. Tebow and Mr. Delson.

  3. He is a missionary at heart, gifted as a talented football star and anointed to share His Love! Your uncle knows him as an outstanding athlete... and he has more respect for him when I showed an article of Tim Tebow in one of this Christian magazines... (Guidepost)that we get. He touching many not only back home in the Phil. but all those around him. His prison ministry is outstanding too.

  4. Insightful, penetrating and then some! This is one more testament to a promising career as an active agent of the fourth estate, Rex. My pride beams with the enthusiasm that waltzes with your fluid prose and the energy that you apply to your writings. As one of your fond readers, I wish you continued vigor and keep that keyboard clicking!

  5. I AM PROUD TO HAVE KNOWN IGOROTS! I lived at Angeles City and Clark Air Base for 4 years in the 60's. The Igorots were important to the U.S. Air Force for many years for their expertise in jungle survival. I am sure many downed pilots and commandos benefitted greatly from what they learned from the Igorots. I am 73 years old and guess who my hero is......Tim Tebow. It makes me happy to read or hear anything about Tim. I am ordering the book "Igorotak: The Warrior Within". God bless Rexcrisanto L. Delson
    Les Ridaught

  6. @ Les Ridaught . . . WOW! Thank you SO MUCH for your comment. Of all the comments and feedback I have received from all blogs thus far; yours it definately the best one! When my book is published, I will send you a signed copy. Not only are you an Igorot fan, but a Tebow fan as well! OUTSTANDING! You might want to check out the new "Igorots of Character" blog (there is a link/tab to it on this blog) where I will be awarding a "Tim Tebow Recognition Award" for Igorots of character & integrity. Thanks again and all my best to you. Just send me your email or contact info and I will make sure you get a copy. My email is delsons@sbcglobal.net

  7. Hi guys! This is so sweet to see Timmy on your blog. Who would've known he was Philipino by birthplace. I dated a real nice Philipino guy in college and my best friend was Philipino when I grew up in South Carolina before moving to Texas. I remember the noodles her mom always cooked and the chocolate meat gravy. Delicious!
    :-) Tracey Sullivan

  8. Hello Tracey. If you're looking for a Filipino guy to meet, I'm available. Naaah just kiddin kiddo. Les, do you follow the Tebowzone website too? I love hearing about fans your age! I'm pretty sure my natural parents (I'm adopted by Irish family - daagh) are Igorots. I can't be sure because my adoption records aren't clear. I do know my natural parents are from Apayao in the Luzon island but their identity was lost in space somewhere. Someone should start a group called Flips for Tebow or something. I'll be the first to "chomp" at it. Get it?

  9. I see you like David in the Bible, a simple shepherd, used by God in a mighty way ... slinging the goliaths of the sportsworld. Let it be known that touchdown means arms raised to praise. Thank you for having a big heart for the Filipino people.


  10. Admin, if not okay please remove!

    Our facebook group “selfless” is spending this month spreading awareness on prostate cancer & research with a custom t-shirt design. Purchase proceeds will go to cancer.org, as listed on the shirt and shirt design.




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