MOVED by what happened to a popular pro wrestler who allegedly died of suicide after being a victim of attacks online, ONE Championship star Eduard “Landslide” Folayang joined the many voices in condemning any form of cyber-bullying.
No stranger to adversities in making his journey from humble beginnings in Baguio City to becoming one of the top mixed martial arts fighters in the land in ONE Championship, including having his share of doubters, critics and bashers, Mr. Folayang, 35, said he feels for Japanese reality TV star and pro wrestler Hana Kimura and that what happened to her was just lamentable.
Last month, Ms. Kimura was found dead in her home, feared to have committed suicide. She left notes referencing several hate messages she received online in an apparent cyber-bullying act, following an incident with another cast member on popular Netflix series Terrace House.
“It’s always sad when we lose a member of the martial arts community. I didn’t know Hana Kimura personally, but I’m sure many people loved her. It’s just unfortunate that she had to go through what she had to go through. I don’t think anybody deserves that,” said Mr. Folayang, twice the world lightweight champion at ONE Championship.
The Team Lakay stalwart urged people to make good use of technology and the online platform, observing propriety in what one says and does.
“For me, technology is two-faced. It can help humanity, but at the same time, it can also give some people an outlet to hurt others without consequence. I believe there is no place in the world for cyber-bullying,” said Mr. Folayang, who is currently in Baguio in this time of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It’s very wrong because you’re essentially harassing someone despite not knowing anything about that person’s life or what they are going through. Depression is not something we should take lightly,” he added.
Mr. Folayang went on to highlight that the situation with COVID-19 is not the time to turn against one another, instead as much as possible everybody must lift each other to get past these difficult times.
He also encouraged those experiencing depression to remain strong.
“It’s a tough situation now but I think sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that our identity is not formed from the opinion of others. I encourage others to be strong and understand that our mistakes do not define us. Hang in there and we will all get through this together,” said Mr. Folayang.
“I also want all the people out there suffering from depression to know that you are not alone, and that many people love you — your family, your friends. We should all help one another, especially during these difficult times.”
Just like any ONE Championship fighter, Mr. Folayang is awaiting word on when they can resume competing in events. But he is keeping himself busy with training, individually and with his team, while also lending a hand in his community amid COVID-19. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo