Tebowing has roots in Mindanao

By Nestor Palugod Enriquez

The Tebowing phenomenon – now part of English lexicon to mean “the act of taking a knee in prayer during an athletic contest” — did not start in football.

Tim’s faith began in Mindanao before his birth. His missionary mother Pam fell into a coma after contracting amoebic dysentery from bacteria transmitted through contaminated drinking water. During her recovery, she received a series of strong medications. And even though she discontinued the regimen when she discovered the pregnancy, doctors told Pam the fetus had been damaged.

Doctors later told Pam that her placenta had detached from the uterine wall, a condition known as placental abruption, which can deprive the fetus of oxygen and nutrients. Doctors expected a stillbirth, Pam said, and they encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.

“They thought I should have an abortion to save my life from the beginning all the way through the seventh month,” she recalled, according to reports. Pam said her decision to sustain the pregnancy was motivated simply by one thing: her faith.

“We were grieved,” she said. “And so my husband just prayed that if the Lord would give us a son, that he would let us raise him.”

In her seventh month of pregnancy, Pam traveled to the country’s capital, Manila, where she received around-the-clock care from an American-trained physician. For the next two months, Pam — steadfastly praying for a healthy child — remained on bed rest.

And on her due date — Aug. 14, 1987 — Pam gave birth to Timothy Richard Tebow, who she described as “skinny, but rather long.”

“We were concerned at first because he was so malnourished, but he definitely made up for it,” she said.

Today, Tim at 20 stands at a solid 6’3″ 235 pounds and is considered the strongest guy to play the glamour position of quarterback for the Denver Broncos. This kid hung on to the uterine wall refusing to be flushed down.

Nestor Palugod Enriquez is the president of the Filipino American Historical Society-New Jersey.


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