Jaime Sebastian, my good friend, My Comrade
By: Graham C. Lim
In late 2000, I was elected as Vice President of Philippine Weightlifting Association (PWA) and that was the time my relationship with Jaime Sebastian start to bind.
Jaime then was the Philippine head coach of the weightlifting team preparing for the 2001 SEA Games in Malaysia. Jaime is a little bit loss some weight already but still energetic strong guy and we use to go together searching for new weightlifting talents in other provinces like Cebu and Zamboanga City or in the southern part of the Philippines.
The first time I meet Jaime was in 1997, still active athlete then and a gigantic guy like “Huk” the animated cartoon that transform into a strong and bulky guy with lot of force, Jaime then was an athlete to participate in 1997 Jakarta SEA Games and won a gold medal then.
Jaime is a quiet person and a good listener if I may say, because Jaime listen to my advice and most of the time, we never argue anything about in the Weightlifting association.
In 2001, Jaime Sebastian was the first person to be elected as President of the Athletes and Coaches Association of the Philippines (ACAP), composed of all national athletes and national coaches in the Philippines. ACAP was newly organized and the main reason for that was protect the welfare of the national athletes and coaches because most of the athlete and coach allowances were lowly pay and neglected by the officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
I remember an incident during the 2001 ACAP Induction of Officers held at somewhere in a hotel in Ermita district, Sebastian was to be inducted then but the PSC official wanted that he be the inducting officer but we all disagreed even the PSC officials were invited to attend which they did and what transpire was Bayan Muna Representative Congressman Satur Ocampo arrives to be the main speaker and inducting officer that was pre-arranged and push through as planned. That’s why Jaime never bent nor makes any statement that will derail the induction luncheon and Jaime always stand for his principal from the start up to the end, that is the man of principle of word of honor.
Jaime never leaves us apart during our struggle in the PWA where we push for him to be the PWA President against politician who wanted to get the association by intimidation and manipulation. From the start up to the end, we stands strong together by principle, never twist nor bent.
Jaime who was converted to Muslim in late 90’s later have several mild stroke starting in 2002 and problem also with his diabetic condition.
Jaime give in at age 53 after long illness of heart and diabetic problem that cause his life where he stay and live starting from 2005 in Zamboanga City.
I managed to talk to Jaime’s wife Aurora Angeles during the wake last Sunday, Zamboanga City Councilor Roel Natividad who is also the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) regional director, was there to comfort the untimely dead of her husband who left two beautiful daughters Jaymie and Nina.
Jaime was the third in the family. Two boys (including Jaime) and 4 sisters.
I will always remember Jaime Sebastian as a good old friend and comrade and may God guide you to eternal life.