Relief ops and volunteerism: How Hidilyn Diaz, fiancé spent Christmas Day this year

December 27, 2021 - 6:56 PM
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Hidilyn Diaz and Julius Naranjo
Hidilyn Diaz and Julius Naranjo in this photo shared by Diaz on her Instagram on Dec. 27, 2021. (Photo from Instagram/hidilyndiaz)

The gold medalist with a heart of gold.

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz spent her Christmas Day by volunteering at relief operations for victims of Typhoon Odette which ravaged parts of the country before the much-anticipated holiday.

The 30-year-old weightlifting wonder shared that she and her fiancé, coach Julius Naranjo, volunteered at a non-profit organization on December 25 to give 1,000 relief goods to the affected families in Argao, Cebu.

“Thank you coach @dcatbautista (Dani Bautista) for inviting me, @imjulius @fairyydeii (Maria Dessa Delos Santos) and @_ikeah (Atikah Sobri) to give love, inspiration, and hope on Christmas Day,” Diaz said on Instagram last Saturday.

She also appealed for others to help the affected communities “rise again as one” as they heal from the impacts of the tropical cyclone.

“Our kababayans from Visayas and Mindanao need your help, if we can spare our hands and help them rise again as one. They don’t have water, electricity, phone signal, food, and houses. You may contact @setforth.ph for more information,” Diaz said, tagging non-profit organization Set Forth Philippines.

Naranjo in a separate post shared that they had “wanted to (do) something for the communities in the Visayas and Mindanao affected” by the typhoon for Christmas.

“Although we know that Cebu wasn’t as badly affected, it’s one of the few areas that we had access to during this time,” he said, referring to him and Diaz.

Diaz also used the “#BagongVisMin” hashtag when she responded to an Instagram post of Bautista talking about the initiative.

A few days before Christmas, Typhoon Odette wreaked havoc on Mimaropa and the regions of Visayas and Mindanao.

The tropical cyclone has claimed nearly 400 lives, injured 1,146 people and caused 64 others to remain missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

“Odette” is considered the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

National government agencies have so far provided P118 million in assistance.