From Garbage to Gold: Former scavenger Delarmino tops Muay Thai

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 08, 2019 07:48 PM
Garbage to Gold: Former scavenger Delarmino tops Muay Thai
Philip Delarmino had always known how to make something about of nothing

SUBIC - Philip Delarmino has finally found what he had long been looking for.

Delarmino is, at long last, a gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games muay thai competition as he dominated Vietnam's Long Doan Nguyen in the finals of the of the men's 57kg, Sunday at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here.

This has been a long time coming as, before the 2019 edition of the regional meet, the national team captain had his dreams dashed three times in a row.

In the 2013 SEA Games, Delarmino settled for silver.

Two years later, the sport was not in the biennial meet and once it returned in 2017, he was unable to qualify for the semifinals.

Fast forward to now and the 29-year-old finally turned his dream into reality - and it doesn't matter at all if it took a long, long time.

After all, Delarmino is no stranger to having to have patience and perseverance before breaking through.

Before he put on pads for muay, the Iloilo native once scavenged for scraps which could be sold to junk shops. "Habang nag-aaral dati, pag wala akong baon sa school, nagsa-sideline ako ng pangangalakal," he recalled.

Of course, that was not in any way enough to make ends meet.

And so, Delarmino decided to try out sports - boxing and taekwondo, in particular. "Siyempre, naging paraan ko na rin yung sports para makapagsuporta sa pag-aaral. Simula nga nun, naglaro-laro na rin ako sa bara-barangay, mga fiesta," he said.

He then continued, "Tapos national games. Dun ako na-discover talaga."

From there, the flyweight fighter committed and continued committing to his craft.

And even though he lost in 2013 and 2017, his full faith remained that, one day, he will be able to scavenge through life's challenges and score for himself a well-deserved gold medal.

That day has been today. "Masayang-masaya ako ngayon kasi lahat ng hirap, kahit paano, may kapalit, may bunga rin," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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