After the recently concluded NCR Palaro where the Xavier archers performed well beyond their expectations and surprised many by being the first Xavier and San Juan Archers to be included in a Palarong Pambansa national competition, Alejandro ‘Lejan’ Lacson and I underwent an extensive training program in preparation for the upcoming Tagum sporting event.
A few weeks before the Palarong Pambansa, both Lejan and I competed in the 1st Philippine Chairman’s Cup sanctioned by World Archery to gauge where we were in terms of preparation and readiness. To my surprise and amazement, I was able to garner a silver medal in the qualifying event in the Junior Category. More surprising is that I won a Bronze at the Olympic Rounds where I bested the more experienced archers from all over the Philippines. Lejan was a revelation as he upset many favorites to end up winning the Silver in that Olympic round. It was a good competition as we felt we were almost ready for the challenge the Palaro would bring.
The whole NCR boys’ Archery Team arrived a day ahead of the schedule of games. It was like the Olympics as we went through the experience with awe and excitement. The parade was a two-hour exhilarating moment. We could not get enough of the selfies and photo moments.
The competition was very tough. Each of the 17 regions were represented by their top 4 Archers. We shot with our best forms and arrows but both Lejan and I did not contend for the medals in the Qualifying Round. Our lucks would change as the team kept winning during the Team Events and we would eventually compete on the final day for the Gold medal match against the favorite and number 1 team, Region 3. Our best efforts expended, our team went out fighting and eventually settled for the Silver medal. We were overjoyed! 2nd out of 17 regions is not bad, not bad at all.
The Palarong Pambansa is by far the highlight of my Archery experience. Not only did we gain tremendous experience and built camaraderie, we gained our confidence, self respect, candor and many more. This ride has awakened me in so many ways I cannot express. I am truly blessed for being able to be a part of this. I thank the Lord for the guidance, San Juan City for the support, and most especially to Xavier school for how they have moulded me throughout my 13 years. Luceat Lux!