Cruz, Decena want to be an inspiration


Junior men’s physique champion Nathaniel Cruz and women’s division winner Ella Decena are hoping to inspire others to be physically fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cruz, Decena, and Gilbert O. Aldan earned the judges’ nods to top their respective divisions. Aldan ruled the senior men’s physique category.

Cruz, a senior at Marianas High School who placed third in last year’s Dee Clayton Classic, said he it was his older brother Christian who introduced him to bodybuilding that’s why he wants to encourage other teenagers to try it.

Nathaniel Cruz

Nathaniel Cruz

“My brother inspired me to lift weights. He was the first one to take up bodybuilding and I want other youth to do the same. To have a physical activity, to keep them away from vices,” said Cruz, who is planning to join a future bodybuilding event.

“Bodybuilding is not that easy since you will have to follow a strict diet and have to work out everyday.”

He added that he prepared for three months in order to achieve his desired body definition that earned him his first win in a physique competition.

Cruz will go to college in the Philippines where he hopes to take up a course either in business management or computer science.

“I’m still choosing a university but my goal is to also compete in Manila, so I could be well-known in the Philippines,” Cruz added with a laugh.

Ella Decena

Ella Decena

Decena, a pilates instructor at Gold’s Gym, is no stranger to competition after winning last year’s Supermom and placing third behind winner Ferleen Esmundo in the bikini division of the 2013 Dee Clayton Classic.

The mother of five said that she wants to be a role model to others like her that it is not too late to get fit.

“I want to be a role model and become an inspiration to other mothers on Saipan that you can still achieve the body and weight that you desire,” said Decena, who arrived on Saipan in 2000.

“Working out, lifting weights, or doing any physical activity is a way to relieve you of everyday stress. I encourage everyone to do the same for you to enjoy a longer life,” Decena added.

She was saddened that only her and Valerie De Mesa joined last Saturday’s competition. “There were four of us in 2013. A lot would love to join but they’re not yet ready for the competition. I hope to see them next time.”

Marck A. Calage placed second to Cruz while Anthony Agulto, Won Jong Seo, and Joseph Taitano are the other competitors in the junior men’s physique.

Gerald Galang, who placed second in the men’s physique of last year’s Dee Clayton Classic, again had a runner-up finish. Enrco Valdez also joined the event.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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