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        Hidilyn Diaz: I can’t wait to learn how to drive

        But she will still definitely ride scooters
        by Aris Ilagan Aug 6, 2021
        PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

        Kia Philippines has turned over a brand-new, top-of-the-line Stonic 1.4 EX AT to Hidilyn Diaz. The crossover is an incentive from the Ayala Corporation for bringing home a gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and making Filipinos proud.

        Emerging from the Sheraton Hotel with her boyfriend and weightlifting coach Julius Naranjo after spending seven days in quarantine at another hotel, Diaz smiled from ear-to-ear as she saw the Yellow Flash Stonic rolling onto the driveway with sportscaster Chino Trinidad behind the wheel.

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        Since her early days in weightlifting, ‘Kuya Chino’ (as Diaz addresses him) has been there to support the 30-year-old athlete from Zamboanga. We were also told that it was Kuya Chino who floated the idea to the Ayalas of giving her an incentive for her remarkable achievement.

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        Upon seeing her new Kia Stonic for the first time, Diaz blurted out, “Ang ganda!

        We asked Diaz how she feels about her new ride. “Siyempre, super excited!” she said. While inside the car’s cabin, Trinidad led Diaz through a Zoom session using his laptop with officials from Ayala Corporation and Kia Philippines as part of the turnover ceremony. She was so thankful to her benefactors. However, there was one pressing issue.

        Hindi pa po ako marunong mag-drive,” she told the group. Without hesitation, Kia Philippines and Ayala Corporation offered to sponsor her driving lessons at the Honda Safety Driving Center (HSDC).

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        According to Diaz, her first attempt to drive a car was in 2015 when she enrolled at a driving school in Zamboanga. “One day lang po ako dun kasi hindi ko talaga type ang mag-drive ng manual transmission,” said Diaz.

        Even before she tried learning to drive, Diaz was already into tiny scooters, which allowed her to move around freely. In fact, she remembers owning a Honda scoot for quite a while. And now that she’s expected to receive a lot of money in incentives, we wondered what her dream bike will be. “Definitely, hindi muna big bike,” she emphasized.

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        She also couldn’t say which scooter is at the top of her wishlist. During our conversation, we couldn’t help but notice that her sights remained on the Stonic.

        Seeing Diaz’s excitement, Trinidad was able to convince her to drive it around the block twice while we safely escorted at speeds of no more than 10kph. Congratulations, Hidilyn, on your new car!

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        PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

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