Finding God in turbulent waters

Published June 10, 2021, 7:00 PM

by Deedee Siytangco

ANGEL THOUGHTS

The late Bert Lozada and family.

Who remembers the Bert Lozada Swim School (BLSS) from way back? Bert was teaching kids, youngsters, and seniors how to swim to save our lives at school pools, athletic clubs, community pools, and private pools!

While I was working with Oscar Arellano in Operation Brotherhood Inc., the office staff was enrolled at Lozada. I was a lousy student. But Bert’s sons, Anthony and Angelo, were excellent coaches. He has passed away but his sons and daughter Susie have carried on their father’s advocacy to greater heights. BLSS is now 65 years old.

Anthony and Angelo have become the two top swim coaches in the country. Anthony was even enrolled by his father in an eight-month senior coaching program in Germany. He has trained competitive swimmers for international games and many of his pupils have come home with gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Because of the pandemic, Anthony and Angelo, had to close all BLSS and begin a life from the very bottom. Pools at all BLSS were closed and the Lozada teachers all over the country had to be dismissed, much to the pain of the two brothers who paid for the fees of their faithful teachers from their own pockets (and their mother’s).

They went bankrupt and now they live off their small savings. In their darkest days, Angelo and Anthony discovered God and their faith.

Never religious, Anthony learned to turn to the Lord. “Now my approach to coaching is more Christ-centered, having joined the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) back in 1999 with my wife, when we were having difficulty having a baby after three years of marriage,” he intimates. The couple’s spirituality grew in this community and Anthony was able to use his re-energized faith in his coaching.

“I am only an assistant coach and my head coach is Jesus. I follow His guidance. My responsibility is to serve my athletes and not vice versa. What is important for me is to use my God-given talents to serve my athletes, to help them achieve their dreams.”

Because of his Christ-centered approach to coaching, Anthony has less stress now. He is able to deal with frustrations and disappointments unlike before. In this pandemic, Angelo and Anthony were forced to develop online teaching classes. They developed BFIT (Bert Lozada FITness intelligence system), an online fitness program that helps kids and adults stay fit and boost their immune system through various exercises they can do in the safety of their homes.”

In this field, Angelo and Anthony are the new kids on the block, up against major players in this industry. “And the fact that we cater mostly to kids is a huge challenge because online fitness hasn’t been developed yet here in the country,” says Anthony.

Their prayer now is for BLSS to safely operate again because they honestly do not know until when their savings can last. Their dream is for BFIT to be as big as BLSS so that they provide teachers with more jobs. This was also the objective of BLSS, Anthony noted. Their Papa Bert wanted to provide livelihood to people through the swim schools. His children want to continue his advocacies like teaching kids with disabilities, both physical and intellectual.

“God has blessed us,” revealed Anthony, “because now we have our country’s first two visually impaired triathletes. I am also head coach for our national team for PWD (Person’s With Disability). I have athletes who are arm and leg amputees.”

Anthony Joseph Lozada with his wife Eloisa and daughter Keona Marie.

Their mommy Zenas, pianist par excellence, is still as strong as ever, thanks to God. She’s still very active in guiding her sons through our business and family. “Mommy is our anchor and strength. She makes sermon to us when we make mistakes and she sends us pizza and delicious food when we do a good job,” Anthony chuckles. Their only sister Susie, also a champion swimmer and coach, is now in the US.

As an online fitness and sports platform, BFIT has a wide range of activities, from a Physical Education (PE) program for kids five to 17 to Strength and Conditioning programs for competitive swimmers. There’s aslo BFIT EveryJUAN, a fitness program for home/corporate essential workers and frontliners, including kasambahays, drivers, security Guards, and janitors, as well as BLSS Mobile Swim School (MobiSwim), a “home service learn to swim.”

“The family has had to adjust and adapt. We are taking care of two seniors, my mom and mother-in-law, so we really have to be very careful. But this pandemic got us much closer now to our children and our parents.”

Even in this pandemic, swimming is still a life skill everyone should learn. With the sedentary lifestyle that this pandemic is causing, kids needs to be active. “Drowning is still one of the leading causes of accidental death. With the easing of restrictions, the risk of drowning will increase because people are excited to go outdoors and go to the pool, the beach, or the lakes,” says Anthony.

Bert Lozada Fitness Intelligence Training (BFIT): 0917-8477664 | www.bfit.ph
Bert Lozada Swim School (BLSS): 0917-700-7946 (SWIM) | www.bertlozadaswimschool.com

 
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