At an early age, my parents instilled upon me the idea that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish about anything you put your mind to. I was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States. As a child I was always small and skinny, and usually the last kid to be picked for any games at the playground. That motivated me at an early age to start exercising. I lifted weights in high school and played in all kinds of sports. Though I was active and fit, my diet was extremely poor. I had no concept of nutrition and eating healthy. In 2001, I suffered empyema and almost died. I was hospitalized and had surgery to put a chest tube in my back for 6 months so my lungs wouldn’t fill up with fluid causing me a slow painful death by drowning. Luckily I pulled through. That was a wake up call for me. I needed to change my lifestyle habits and care more about my body as I aged. I started by paying more attention to my nutrition and continuing my workout regimen, more committed than ever. I’m a former IT geek but realized later in life that my calling is to become a fitness geek. My true passion is helping others get in better shape by promoting a healthy lifestyle. At the age of 41, I competed in my 1st ever natural bodybuilding competition and won 1st place and Best in Show. Not too bad for an old guy. It is never too late to accomplish what you want!