Making Big Moves with Chino Roque
Three life lessons we learned from the first Filipino astronaut
In December 2013, Chino Roque made headlines here and abroad for both bagging an opportunity of a lifetime and marking a milestone for the Filipino people. Roque, a 22-year-old CrossFit trainer at the time, was named the youngest Filipino to be recruited into Space Exploration Corp’s space program as part of the AXE Apollo Space Camp.
Roque bested 28,000 applicants (from which 400 astronaut hopefuls made the cut and only 50 were shortlisted) and, finally, after days of grueling exercises, 23 AxeTronauts earned their seats on NASA’s X-COR Lynx sub-orbital space vehicle. Roque was set to embark on his space mission in 2014 and make history.
Not at all a stranger to making big moves, Roque’s victory story highlights a different side of bold adventures such as this though: his trip to outer space has unfortunately been postponed until further notice. Still, the now 28-year-old licensed commercial pilot remains steadfast and has chosen instead to see this roadblock as an opportunity to explore all the potential that a plan B holds. Get to know Chino Roque’s big move on Portraits.
What are some life lessons Chino Roque has learned since making his big move? Scroll through to find out.
Plan, prepare, pray and then power through.
“In my line of work as a pilot, coach, athlete, businessman and soon-to-be astronaut, it’s important to always have a plan. I plan the hours of my day, every day of my week, each month of the year and the year moving forward to my decade goals. There’s a saying that goes: ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ and while it may seem like I’m a ‘go with the flow’ type of guy, this only reflects the flexibility I have with all my plans. Preparing for them means making sure that you have all that you need for them to run smoothly. Aside from this, it’s important to prepare back-up plans just in case. Finally, pray. Believe that you are but a tiny speck of dust in this universe. You have to be attuned to this and discard the toxic idea that you are the center of the universe. I pray for clarity, guidance, strength and kindness––with all this, I have to confidence to execute my plan and stay relentless in my pursuit.”
Refuse to be comfortable.
“I’ve always lived my life believing that nothing is given to you on a silver platter. You have to be able to give your 101% in order to deserve what you work so hard for. Being comfortable also leads to complacency, which is a human error that can lead to miscomputations and bad habits. As much as we all would like to strive to be able to live in comfort, life’s uncertainties will always find a way to set you back to square one. Believe in that. Control this desire and avoid stagnating. Continue to reinvent and challenge yourself to break past any boundary.”
Find your inspiration and stay positive.
“There is beauty in everything; make sure you find the time to observe it. There is beauty in struggle, in kindness, basically everywhere you look around. Have these things inspire you to keep pushing forward, take in this positivity and shine it on to others. In my darkest times, I managed to pull myself out by drawing out a little of what inspires me. For that, I’m grateful.”
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Photography Karen de la Fuente