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Tabaco's pride, the country's honor

3 Tabaqueño athletes bag national gold medal

LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY (PIA5/Albay)--Three gold medalists from Tabaco National High School received their fourth gold medal on Feb. 6, Monday at the Local Government of Tabaco City.

Official members of Tabaco City Purple Bladers: Christ Ariel Bolaños, 14;  Aldrin Candelasa, 13; and Gabriel De Hatti, 13, won first place in the National Pencak Silat Seni Regu Boys, 13 to 15 yrs- old category, Batang pinoy 2022 virtual competition held last December, 2022.

Bolaños and Candelasa expressed their gratitude as they personally received their medals.  

"Masaya ako na mareceive yun dahil matagal na ring nadelay sapagkat galing pa sa Vigan ang medal. [I am happy to receive the award despite being delayed. It came all the way from Vigan, Ilocos Sur],’’Bolaños said.

Meanwhile, De Hatti who is currently on semester break vacation was unable to attend the awarding.

According to the Olympic Council of Asia, Pencak Silat is a non-aggressive martial arts that employs natural body movements and develops balance and economy of movement in each individual.

AWARDEES. Official members of Tabaco City Purple Bladers, Christ Ariel Bolaño, Aldrin Candelasa, and Gabriel De Hatti of Tabaco National High School receives their fourth gold medal on Feb. 6, 2023 after winning first place on the the Pencak Silat virtual competition. (Photo courtesy of Tabaco Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro)

Athletes struggles

Trainor of the Tabaco City Purple Bladers, Willy Bendian said that Covid-19 pandemic has added to the challenges of the athletes since their supposed physical national competition at Vigan, Ilocos Sur was held virtually.

He noted that it was another drawback faced by his athletes because they were required to send their entry through a video clip.

"Mahirap ang naging sitwasyon dahil virtual. Hindi isang salang lang kaya maraming repetitions para makapili ng may magandang galaw. [The situation was hard because it was held virtually. It is not a single take, we did lots of repetition so we can choose the one with great moves]," Bendian said.

The athletes also shared their difficulties during the competition. 

In an interview, De Hatti disclosed that,"Ayos lang siya pero mahirap. [It is good to win (a gold medal) but it was tough]’’.

"Hindi madali kasi ang pinagkaiba ng Pencak Silat sa Martial Arts ay mas nauuna ang gracefulness bago ang power. Sa bawat Seni dapat mapakita ang gracefulness [It wasn't easy since the difference between Pencak Silat and  Martial Arts is its gracefulness before power. In each Seni, we should present gracefulness],’’ Candelasa added.

"Nakaranas ako ng hirap lalo na sa pamasahe, [I’ve had experienced financial struggle specifically in transportation cost]," De Hatti said.

Expressing dedication to their chosen sport

The athletes started to engage in the said sport at their young age.

Candelasa and De Hatti started when they were in Grade 3 and Bolaños started when he was in Grade 4.

According to them, at first, it was just an academic requirement in their Physical Education class.

As they discovered their interest in the said sport, they pursued to be an official member last 2019. 

"Requirement lang namin sa P.E. dati tapos nakita namin na interesting kaya nag apply kami. [At first, it was only a compliance to our P.E. subject and as we found it interesting therefore, we applied],’’ Bolaños said. 

This coming Wednesday, February 8, the athletes will compete against San Lorenzo National High School and San Antonio National High School.

The athletes' aim was not just the gold medal but to be part of the National Team.

"May competition kami sa Wednesday, City Meet at physical sparring na. Sana manalo ulit kami. Pangarap din naming maging parte ng National Team ng bansa. [We have a competition this coming Wednesday, a City Meet and it is a physical sparring. We hope to win again. We also dream to be part of the National Team of the country]," Bolaños said.

He also left a message to the young athletes like them to pursue their dream and face the challenges. 

"Galingan lang at magpursige. Pag may pagsubok na dumating, kayanin para sa pangarap. (Just do good and persevere. If challenges come, survive it for your dream)," he added. (With the reports from Cristine Joy Bobiles, BU intern-PIA5/Albay)

Cover photo: Courtesy of Tabaco Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro

About the Author

Cyryl Montales

Writer PIA/Albay

Region 5

Amor Fati

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