Philippine economy

After 2012 disappointment, NCR tanker returns with a vengeance

Myke Miravite
After a painful experience in 2012, Regina Castrillo bounced back and won 6 gold medals in the first 4 days of Palaro 2013.

FASTEST. Castrillo hasn't lost a race this year. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — Back with a vengeance.

Her 200-meter medley swim in last year’s Palarong Pambansa in Pangasinan was painful and humiliating for Big City bet Regina Erin Castrillo. After finishing first in the finals, she was expecting to be called up to the podium and add another medal to her growing collection.

Her excitement however, turned out to be an embarrassment.

The NCR tanker topped that event and set a new Palaro record. But she was disqualified for an illegal stroke, handing the gold to teammate Raissa Gavino, who finished second.

“She did not show it but we knew Regina was hurting from what happened,” said her mother, Dr. Chona Castrillo.

Nevertheless, Castrillo still went home with five gold medals from her other events.

Sweet comeback

A year later, Castrillo found herself once again on the platform, waiting for the starting gun to be fired.

In her head was the stinging memory of a botched celebration in Lingayen. But when she hit the water, all Regina was looking at was that gold medal at the end of the 200 meters.

“I will never forget my error,” Castrillo shared. “That’s why my coach helped me to correct my form.”

ONE OF SIX. Castrillo has gone to the podium six times in the 2013 Palaro. Photo by Rappler/Roy Secretario.

Regina’s coach and former Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Luica Dacanay, rich with experience herself, told her prized swimmer to learn from her mistakes.

Two minutes and 37.16 seconds later, Castrillo knew she had it. But it was sweeter this time around.

The youngster not only captured the gold, but broke the six-year-old record in the 200-meter individual medley set by Ingrid Illustre in Koronadal City in 2007.

Coach’s challenge

Incidentally, Dacanay also held that record for a time when she herself shattered it in 1998.

“My challenge for Regina is to surpass my performance of three personal records in Bacolod,” said Dacanay, who won five golds and two silvers during her time in the Palaro.

The pride of St. Theresa’s College continued her medal-shopping in this year’s Palarong Pambansa with her sixth gold medal today and also hiked her record-breaking performances in these Games to three.

Tomorrow, she is set to swim her last event, with the crowds at the Lorenzo Teves Aqua Center expecting yet another brilliant outing from a girl who overcame trauma and disappointment to prove that one mistake doesn’t mean the end of the world. – Rappler.com

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