SEA Games: Ariel Lampacan kept on mining until he got gold for PHI

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 08, 2019 07:03 PM
Ariel Lampacan kept on mining until he got gold for PHI
Ariel Lampacan had always known a thing or two about gold

SUBIC - "Madaming proseso bago makita yung ginto."

Those were just a few of the words that came out of the mouth of Ariel Lee Lampacan after he won his first gold, Sunday at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here, in just his first try in the Southeast Asian Games.

Lampacan, however, wasn't talking about the medal he can now proudly wear after downing fancied Sakchai Chamchi in the finals of muay men's 54kg in the 2019 edition of the regional meet.

Rather, the 21-year-old was referring to his humble beginnings as a miner back in Baguio.

"Sa hirap ng buhay, 'di po ako nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Nag-decide na lang po akong samahan yung parents kong magtrabaho," he shared. "Sinasamahan ko po yung tatay ko papunta sa bundok para maghukay. Wala naman po kasing masyadong trabaho sa amin nun kundi pagmiminero."

Then, Lampacan was just a 13-year-old kid who was forced to grow up sooner than later to help his family make ends meet.

And still, his family was having nothing but tough times. As he put it, "Madaming proseso bago makita yung ginto. Ilalabas pa yung lupa galing sa kweba tapos kailangan, makakuha muna ng 300 to 400 sacks ng lupa bago makita yung gold."

He then continued, "Siguro, mga two o three months pa talaga bago mo makikita yung gold. Tapos, 'di rin naman agad-agad magiging pera yun."

Who knew that later on in his life, the flyweight fighter will also have to go through a process to get gold - only this time, in muay.

"Nung mga 14 po ako, nakikita ko kasi yung kuya kong todo-ensayo rito tapos sabi ko, i-try ko na rin kaysa hanggang pagtanda ko, naghuhukay ako ng lupa," he said. "Sumasama po ako sa training ng kuya ko hanggang nagustuhan ko na po talaga 'to."

From there, Lampacan opened eyes in the 2013 Batang Pinoy where he was also selected to the Philippine Jr. National Team. "Nagsikap lang po talaga akong mag-ensayo," he said.

Fast forward to now and the former miner has gold in his hands - and that's because he overcame his favored opponent in the ultimate bout in the very same way he once climbed mountains to make something out of his life. "Naglaban na rin po kami before sa Australia. Finals din po yun tapos tinalo niya ako ng decision," he said.

He then continued, "Ngayong ginanap sa bahay natin yung SEA Games, sabi ko sa sarili ko, dito na ako babawi."

Without a doubt, Lampacan did just that.

And also without a doubt, he will only keep on mining - mining for gold medals, that is. "First SEA Games ko po 'to tapos first gold. Sana, masundan pa po kaya magte-training po ako nang maigi lalo," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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