ILOCOS SUR, Philippines – A 15-year-old high school student from Misamis Oriental delivered the first gold medal in long jump for his province in the 2022 Batang Pinoy National Championships at the Quirino Stadium in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, on Sunday, December 18.
It was the first gold for the Misamis Oriental team, and the second for Mindanao during the week-long national sports event in Ilocos Sur for athletes 15 years and younger. A team from Davao City also bagged a gold medal in one of the swimming competitions in the Philippine Sports Commission’s 13th Batang Pinoy National Championships.
For long jump gold medalist Marc Angelo Cabiluna, a student of the Villanueva National High School in Misamis Oriental, his Ilocos Sur feat was his ticket to becoming a member of the Philippines national athletics team.
“Wala akong masabi (I’m speechless),” said Cabiluna right after his impressive leap in the high school boys long jump competition.
Looking fit and vibrant before his final attempt, Cabiluna out-jumped the 14-year-old Jonathan Bellosillo of the Masbate Sports Academy, 6.54 to 6.50 meters, to the great delight of his mother and coach Cherry and fellow teacher Sittie Jaya Mauna.
“It was a dream come true for Marc, who really trained hard for this after his fifth-place finish in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa in Davao. Glory to God in the highest. We also offer this victory to Mama Mary,” said Cabiluna’s 52-year-old mother.
From 43 qualifiers in Northern Mindanao, the 5’2” Cabiluna made it to the finals after ranking third among eight finalists.
Masbate’s Bellosillo, who was mentored by Jonathan Librando, bagged the silver medal while Joseph Stephan Bayya of coach Edison Agduna from the Tacurong National High School in Sultan Kudarat got the bronze for his 6.44-meter distance.
When he settled down, Cabiluna said his dream to be a seaman might take a backseat after his maiden success in the national stage.
“Now, I’m determined to become a member of the Philippine team,” Cabiluna told Rappler.
He said he was looking forward to his next competition – the triple jump – on Tuesday morning, December 20, which he referred to as one of his equally favorite events in the national athletics meet from December 16 to 22.
Cabiluna said he was so fired up with his Sunday win that he was more determined to bag another gold in the triple jump competition. – Rappler.com