May 23, 2024

Four students-athletes from Baguio City who represented the Philippines in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan were welcomed home by the city government of Baguio and their school, University of Baguio, on Nov. 22.

In a simple ceremony, Olympics silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam along with bronze medalist Eumir Marcial and quarterfinalist Irish Magno, who all competed in boxing, received recognition from the city council and UB for their historic achievements.

The athletes were first presented to city officials during Monday’s flag raising rites at city hall, where members of the city council and Mayor Benjamin Magalong handed over to them certificates of recognition.

Petecio and Paalam, whose residence is in Baguio, will receive P500,000 each while their coaches will receive P100,000 each from the city in accordance with the city’s Sports Code.

Marcial’s reward, whose residence is in Zamboanga, is still being deliberated by the city, as Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales said they will come out with a resolution for the athlete.

Under the Sports Code, an Olympic bronze medal winner may get P300,000 while the winning coach will receive half, which is P150,000 from the city government.

Magalong said the P1.2 million reward for Petecio, Paalam, and their winning coaches will be processed within the week.  

UB President Javier Herminio Bautista, meanwhile, awarded the athletes a lifetime scholarship grant in any of their chosen fields and two free scholarships for any of their chosen beneficiaries.  

Petecio, who is originally from Davao City, is taking up Hotel and Restaurant Management while  Paalam, who is from Cagayan de Oro City, is under the senior high program.

Marcial is taking up HRM while Magno from Manila is studying Criminology.

Marcial, who is fresh from his honeymoon, said the rewards given to them by the national government and other private entities will be very helpful in boosting their career and their personal lives.

The athletes were accompanied by former national coach Glicerio Catolico, Jr. and coach Rey Galido.  

The Olympians along with the other members of the Philippine boxing team will start their training at Teacher’s Camp. – Ofelia C. Empian