Senator Poe, blackbelter
Looking at ultra-feminine, soft-spoken Sen. Grace Poe, no one would ever imagine that she has a deep passion for sports—any sport.
It’s easy to picture her in a tutu doing a pirouette or a split when she was young. But for sure, nobody thought of Senator Poe as having a vigorous sporting life.
Now because I’ve always directly associated sports with physical and mental toughness, I got curious about Ms. Grace’s sporting activities and checked the Internet.
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Senator Poe’s demeanor would confuse and mislead even the best of mind readers.
For one, she lacks the air of a politician.
She was a reluctant one. And it was a surprise (even to herself) that she topped the last senatorial race that people are now convinced she is among the leading presidential bets for 2016.
She speaks softly and simply. But she communicates well with all classes of people.
She projects herself foremost as a wife, a mother and a daughter to Susan Roces and the late Fernando Poe Jr.—royalty in the show biz world.
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While it is public knowledge now that Grace Poe was adopted by FPJ and Susan, not many people know that she did have a sporting life, and she chose a discipline that made famous such personalities like Jackie Chan and the late Bruce Lee—martial arts!
Senator Poe was a blackbelter in taekwondo and one of the country’s top practitioners during her time.
Not all taekwondo jins would earn this belt if they are not serious with the sport. But Grace Poe earning a black belt under the tutelage of Grand master Sun Chong-hong, one of the founders of the Philippine Taekwondo Association, made her achievement more impressive and meaningful.
She won a silver medal in a national taekwondo championship in the 1980s, but without her parents knowing it.
In fact, when they found out, she got a severe dressing down from FPJ, who had absolutely no idea that she had joined the event.
FPJ got the shock of his life when he saw a news clip of his daughter receiving her medal on television. I guess Grace regularly sneaked out of the house to attend training sessions with Mr. Hong.
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