EJ Obiena on getting new private backing: ‘I want to unburden Filipino taxpayers’

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2022 02:47 PM | Updated as of Oct 06 2022 04:18 PM

EJ Obiena is the new brand ambassador of Rebisco's Extreme. Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Pole vault’s world No. 3 EJ Obiena continues to get support from the private sector, this time sealing a partnership with local biscuit brand Rebisco. 

On Wednesday, Obiena was officially launched as the new brand ambassador of Rebisco’s Extreme biscuit as he possesses the values the company is looking for for the face of their product. 

Obiena welcomed his new endorsement with a grateful heart, hoping to lessen the burden on the Filipino taxpayers in paying for his training and competitions. 

According to the athlete, who is the current Asian record holder, he wants to continue raising the Philippine flag in the international stage without asking for more from the Filipinos. 

“Having been part of such a rich history of Rebisco is truly an honor. I am very happy that all of the things I stand for are aligned. I am not just able to help the company but also help unburden the Filipino taxpayers,” Obiena said. 

It was also not a hard decision for Obiena to ink a deal with the biscuit brand, knowing that the company has been funding some commercial teams already in volleyball – the Creamline Cool Smashers and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans. 

Apart from being supportive to Philippine sports, Rebisco has been a part of Obiena’s childhood, recalling how her mother used to buy it for their snacks in school. 

“These are the things my mom buys. Isn’t it a childhood dream to represent the brand that you used to eat when you were young?” he continued. 

Meanwhile, Andrei Soriano, Rebisco Biscuits’ head of marketing, conveyed the company’s gratitude to present Obiena as their new ambassador, who exemplifies the brand's values of excellence and commitment.

“We were looking for someone that matches the brand’s personality — energetic, outstanding, recharged,” Soriano said in the press conference.

“You see someone able to topple giants in the international field, represent our country and give glory. It's a great honor and blessing.”

Rebisco also assured Obiena, who is targeting the 2024 Paris Olympics, that it will be joining him in his journey in the sport. 

“It’s truly amazing how we progress all through these years in becoming an international name. Perfect for our brand, that’s why we wanted EJ Obiena to be the face of Extreme,” said Noric Ng, business unit head of Rebisco. 

Obiena arrived in Manila last Thursday, together with his girlfriend, German track and field athlete Caroline Joyeaux. He was met by his parents Emerson and Jeanette Obiena. 

This is Obiena's first time to return to the Philippines since 2019. He will stay for a three-week vacation before returning to training and competition.

Obiena won six of his last eight competitions in the outdoor season, including the Memorial van Damme -- the Brussels leg of the Diamond League -- last September 2.

In July, he made history by winning bronze in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the first Filipino to reach the podium of the worlds. He cleared 5.94-meters in the event to set a new personal best and reset the national and Asian record.


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