Fil-Am body-builder joins fitness competition to honor grandparents
Jaclyn Ruby Garcia, 38, a Filipino American body-builder, is taking part in an online fitness competition to be on the cover of Muscle and Fitness HERS magazine, which comes with a cash prize of $20,000. She’s doing it for her late grandparents.
If she wins, she aims to donate the money to Pantay Tamurong Elementary School in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines, where her grandfather, “Lolo” Quirino Sulay, was a teacher.
Garcia has passed three rounds of cumulative voting in the body-building contest. The final round is in early July.
She told Juan Reyes who wrote about her in The Pajaronian in Watsonville, California, that she’s competing in memory of her grandfather, Quirino, and grandmother, Purificacion, who both died last year in the Philippines.
“I wanted to do something to kind of remember them and honor them. They were just very giving people wherever they were,” she told Reyes.
You may also like: Fil-Am world class fight coach rose from an abusive relationship
Garcia works in the tech industry and is also a marathon runner as well as a fourth degree black belt in martial arts.
She lives in San Jose, California but grew up with her grandparents and the Sulay family in Watsonville, where the Sulays have deep roots.
Garcia’s great-grandfather, Mamerto Agustin “Max” Sulay, who was born in 1907 in Nueva Ecija, Philippines, was an immigrant farm worker and contractor who followed the farming seasons on the West Coast.
Mamerto lived at a time of widespread racial discrimination against Filipinos. Watsonville was the site of the infamous 1930 Wastsonville anti-Filipino riots.
When Mamerto met and fell in love with Virginia Alice Viner, they had to get married in Vancouver, Washington state because California prohibited interracial marriages at the time.
When Mamerto and Virginia bought a house in Watsonville, it had to be in Virginia’s name because Filipinos then were prohibited from owning land.
Garcia’s Lolo Quirino Sulay was Mamerto and Virginia’s son.