This last few weeks, three Bicolanos are raising the Uragon flag in not so-usual sports — Robert Timbal for Surfboarding, Ludwig Hans Carizo for Figure Ice Skating, and Bince Rafael Operiano for Chess. Ludwig and Bince are 11 and 9 years old, respectively.
Ludwig, whose parents are from Legazpi City and Rinconanda, bagged four golds in the Skate Philippines National Competition held in SM MOA Ice Rink last October 28-29, 2022. He will be flying to Bangkok, Thailand to compete in the 2022 Skates Bangkok this December.
Bince is from Oas, Albay. He bagged the championship title in the 2022 Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship in Bangkok Thailand over the weekend. He will be conferred a title of National Chess Master when he reaches the age of 12. (picture below, ctto)
Robert, on the other hand, is from Catanduanes. He made it to the Finals of the National Leg 1 Surf Boarding Competition in Siargao.
But while we are at it, we ask: What is the government’s support for our athletes especially the younger ones?
What is visible at this point is the support given to basketball and volleyball enthusiasts. The provincial government of Albay, for instance, had been giving out basket balls and rings during the time of Al Francis Bichara. Though this cannot be discounted, how many of the Bicolanos made it to at least the nationals or at least peeked into the doors of the national teams? Or at least the basic: Is the Bicolano physique appropriate for the popular support being supported by the local governments?
This could be the time for our Sangguniang Kabataan and local officials to review their perspectives. Maybe we are just wasting money for sports that provide us no return on investments. Why not invest on those that are “low-hanging fruits”?