By: Alex Tianco
Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski owes much to being an actress for helping her athletic career succeed.
The equestrian veteran has achieved it all — from bringing home the gold in 2002 from the Asian games, all the way to being elected into the highest international sports governing body, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board. However, all of this may have never happened if she did not become an actress.
“But you know what, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the work, without being an actress,” said Cojuangco-Jaworski during last Saturday’s episode of So She Did!, presented by SMART Sports and hosted by Martie Bautista and Trina Guytingco.
“My being an actress paid for me to, you know… stay as an athlete. So I wouldn’t have been able to do one without the other.”
Cojuangco-Jaworski was introduced to the equestrian sports at an early age. Still, she understood that this was a complex sport that would take more than hard work in order to compete.
To be more specific, she knew that she would need a significant amount of money to sustain her horse and equipment.
“It is an expensive sport, I’m not gonna lie.
“I’m not gonna try to pretend that it’s not. So I really do feel that if you wanna get into this sport, don’t expect someone else to pay the bill for you. Because for our horses to compete at the level that we compete, our horses should eat like athletes,” said Cojuangco-Jaworski.
In her senior year in high school, Cojuangco-Jaworski was featured in a television commercial and was offered multiple movie contracts afterwards. However, she prioritized being an athlete and student first.
But after a sudden injury in college, she decided to use this opportunity to try to increase her funds through acting.
“My schedule was like this — I would be in school around 10 to 3. Then from 3 to 4:30 I was gathering evidence and data for my thesis in sports psychology. I was working with the fencing team. From 6pm to 5am, as long as it was dark, I was shooting for my first movie, which is called ‘Forever’. When the sun is coming up, we couldn’t shoot anymore because we were doing night scenes,” recalled Cojauangco-Jaworski.
This paved the way for her to host shows like Eat Bulaga! and to star in multiple movies such as ‘Manalo Matalo, Mahal Kita’, DoReMi, and many more.
Becoming a celebrity greatly helped her achieve her dreams as an equestrian.
But with every job she received, she never forgot her roots as an athlete.
“Even in the way that I try to be very professional when I was an actress, in all the work that I do… That all came from being an athlete and having tough coaches that really squeeze us for every little bit that we could give.”