A Bicol University athlete thrusts his way into the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) Selection after securing gold in the Individual Traditional Double Weapon category in the Philippine EskremaKali Arnis Federation (PEKAF) Qualifying Luzon League on December 11, 2022, at Angeles City, Pampanga.
Mark John Pajalla, the team captain of the university Arnis varsity team-BU Vulcans, is set to advance into the next stage and compete against Arnis athletes from Visayas and Mindanao this January as part of the final selection of athletes for the official SEA Games lineup and reserves.
Pajalla says some of the challenges he experienced were lack of support and proper training venue.
“Sa part namin ang hirap kasi hindi kilala ang Arnis ngunit mas pinupush ko dahil pambansang laro ito ng Pilipinas at gusto kong ipakita na ito yung larong Pinoy! Atin to. Magagaling ang Albayano,” says Pajalla.
Despite the challenges, Pajalla was determined and did not waiver in his training.
“Pinaka nagbibigay saakin ng motivation ay ang family ko, dahil para sa kanila ito at para maabot ko yung pangarap ko na (makasama sa) Philippine team kahit alam ko na mas marami pang mas magaling sa akin,” dagdag niya.
Pajalla also reminds fellow athletes to set a good example and to not let sports get it the way of their studies.
“Maging tunay na atleta kayo. Yung hindi basta athlete lang kasi “ahat kaya maging athlete pero hindi lahat kaya pangatawanan. Mahalin natin anuman ang passion natin na hindi naaapektuhan ang pag-aral,” Pajalla added.
“Para sakin maging magandang halimbawa tayo sa susunod na henerasyon dahil kayamanan natin ang ganitong uri ng medalya,” he concluded. I via The Bicol Universitarian/PIA Albay
Photo: Mark Pajalla