TAGUM CITY, Philippines – They came to the 2015 Palarong Pambansa Games with an opportunity to win a gold medal. But more importantly, these athletes from Negros Occidental hope to achieve a bigger feat: something that can make their hometown more proud as a whole.
Amica Duay and Kerr Longno of Western Visayas are bound for the finals of the Palarong Pambansa secondary mixed doubles badminton competition, where they will have the chance to finish their fifth and third stints at the games, respectively, with gold medals.
Both are headed for college this academic season, with Longno staying home and Duay bound for the capital, where she will play badminton in the UAAP for National University. Though before she packs her bags and starts here future in Sampaloc, Manila, she wants to first bring glory home with her.
“Siyempre, dinadala namin yung pangalan ng Western Visayas,” Duay said about the importance of how far she and her teammate can get. “Gusto rin namin magbigay ng glory doon sa Western Visayas. Last year na lang kasi namin eh.”
(We carry the name of Western Visayas. We also want to bring glory to hometown. It’s already our last year.)
She’s trained since she was in first grade, and will train some more with her new squad in NU, who has promised to grant her a full scholarship. All the sacrifices she’s making now is for a better future.
“Gusto ko maging company player,” she said about her goals. “Siguro mag nenegosyo na lang rin muna ako. Hindi ko pa alam.”
(I want to be a company player. I guess I’ll do business, I’m just not sure what.)
Longno has the same aspiration: “Gusto ko mag trabaho ng mabuti,” he said. “[Para] makatulong sa pamilya.”
(I want to work hard so I can help my family.)
“Mga (around) 8 to 12 at 2 to 7,” he said about how the schedule of his training. Meron pahinga, pag kumain,” said Longo, who’s staying in Negros Occidental for college.
(We have breaks when we eat.)
Others may dread the prospect of spending their entire day on the court, battling the heat, and hitting a shuttlecock with a racket for hours. But the duo have no such regrets.
“Love namin and nag-e-enjoy kami,” said Duay. “Hindi po [naman] habang buhay, kasi pagkatapos nang college, iba na yun eh. Gusto ko naman mag trabaho para sa pamilya.”
(We love it and we’re enjoying. It’s not something that we can do the rest of our lives, because after college, it will be different. I want to work for my family.)
Duay admits she’s looking forward to competing in the UAAP to go up against tougher challenges. But right now, her experience is key not only as she improves on the court, but also to develop the sense of responsibility she will need before going to Manila.
“Masaya ko pasi natuto kaming maging independent,” she said about being at Palarong Pambansa. “Kasi, para ma-ready kami for college life.”
(I’m happy because I’m learning to be independent. It will better prepare us for college life.)
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