Zamboanga del Sur Palaro athlete banks on arnis to reach college
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Nikki Gelbolingo, 16, is taking arnis seriously so she can stay in school.
Palarong Pambansa first-timer Gelbolingo lives in Molave, Zamboanga Del Sur where she studies in a sports academy sponsored and supported by the Zamboanga Governor. Already in Grade 11, she wants to finish school so she can help alleviate her family from poverty.
Gelbolingo's family went through a big challenge when her father became ill with tuberculosis. All of their money was allocated for his hospitalization and medication, and they utlimately lost him in 2014. They've been heavily in debt since then.
Gelbolingo is the 6th child out of 8. Her mother does laundry for their neighbors as Gelbolingo works as well. After the two eldest kids graduate, Gelbolingo's mother struggled with the financial needs for the education of her 6 other children and some were force to stop school.
Studying is everything
“Para sa akin, importante talaga na makapag-aral, makapag-college para sa pamilya ko,” she said. (For me, it is very important to study, to attend to college for my family.)
She is doing her best in arnis to earn a scholarship for college. For her, studying is her key to success so that her mother won’t have to work anymore. She wants to help her siblings continue their studies so that they can have a better life, too.
As an arnis athlete, Gelbolingo has made many sacrifices such as maintaining the right weight for competing. She jogs every day and endures the heat.
Last year’s Batang Pinoy National was her first break in the sport as she won a gold medal in combat on top of two silver medals.
Despite the hardships she's going through, Gelbolingo dreams of becoming a professional arnis athlete someday, and of course to graduate from college at the same time.
“Mahirap po ang hindi makapag-aral dapat po makatapos, ako nagtatrabaho para makapag-aral. Sana wag nila pababayaan ang sarili nila at mag-aral ng mabuti,” Gelbolingo shared her advice to co-student athletes.
(It’s really hard if you have not studied. You should finish school. I work so that I could study. I hope that they won’t neglect themselves and they'll study well.)
“Mag pasalamat sa Diyos kasi binigyan tayo ng talent natin, at wag dapat natin sasayangin ang opportunity,” she added. (We should be thankful to God because He gave us talent, we should not waste the opportunity.) – Mary Joy Gelit/Rappler.com
Mary Joy Gelit is a Rappler intern for the 2016 Palarong Pambansa and is studying at Bicol University.
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RECAPS AND MEDAL TALLIES:
- NCR wins 12th straight overall Palarong Pambansa crown
- 8 records fall at Palaro 2016
- NCR cops secondary boys football title in heated Palaro final
- NCR trounces Calabarzon for back-to-back secondary girls volleyball title
- Calabarzon defeats Central Luzon to win Palaro secondary basketball title
- Janel Maraguinot, sis of Ateneo's Jhoana, is Palaro Best Setter
- Negros Island earns bronze in secondary girls volleyball
- Central Visayas sweeps NCR to retain Palaro badminton doubles title
- Mimaropa bags gold in Palaro elementary boys double takraw
- Power outages hit 2016 Palarong Pambansa in Albay
- Ilocos Region looks to climb out of cellar in this year's Palaro
- DepEd promotes ‘school sports,’ not A-League sports
- Bicol DOH releases health report midway through 2016 Palaro
- 3 suffer minor injuries as Palaro cauldron overheats, cracks
- Palaro 2016 Mood Meter: Most participants are Happy
Click here to read more stories on Palarong Pambansa 2018