Tag Archives: cycling

Filipino PWDs in the 2018 Asian Paragames

From winning five silver and five bronze medals during the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, the Philippines has upped the ante by winning 10 gold, eight silver, and 11 bronze medals in the 2018 Asian Para Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia from October 6-13.

It ranked the country at 11th place.

The first-ever gold was delivered by Ernie Gawilan during the Para Swimming Men’s 200m Individual Medley SM7, clocking 2:52.43 at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Stadium.

He also bagged a silver during the Para Swimming Men’s 50m Freestyle S7 with a time of 31.93 seconds.

Then it was another silver from Achelle Guion during the 45kg powerlifting, a bronze from Arthus Bucay during the Para Cycling Men’s Time Trial, and another bronze from Gary Bejino during the Para Swimming Men’s 100m Backstroke.

“Our strong performance in the Asian Para Games shows that our disabled athletes can be just as good, if not better, than our abled ones,” Mike Barredo, president of the  Philippine Sports Association for Differently-Abled (PHILSPADA), was quoted as saying in a report.

Below is the list of the winners:

  • GOLD (10)

Kim Ian Chi (bowling, mixed singles TPB10)

Sander Severino (chess, men’s individual standard P1)

Sander Severino (chess, men’s individual rapid P1)

Redor Menandro, Israel Peligro and Arman Subaste (chess, men’s team standard VI – B2/B3)

Henry Roger Lopez, Jasper Rom and Sander Severino (chess, men’s team standard P1)

Henry Roger Lopez, Jasper Rom and Sander Severino (chess, men’s team rapid P1)

Arthus Bucay (cycling, men’s 4,000 meters individual pursuit C5)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, 100 meter backstroke S7)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, 200 meters individual medley SM7)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, 400 meters freestyle S7)

  • SILVER (8)

Kim Ian Chi and Samuel Matias (bowling, mixed doubles TPB10 + TPB10)

Redor Menandro (chess, men’s individual standard VI – B2/B3)

Henry Roger Lopez (chess, men’s individual rapid P1)

Archelle Guion (powerlifting, 45 kilograms)

Gary Bejino (swimming, men’s 200 meters individual medley SM6 5-6)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, men’s 50 meters freestyle S7)

Ernie Gawilan (swimming, men’s 100 meters freestyle S7)

Josephine Medina (table tennis, women’s singles TT8)

  • BRONZE (11)

Jasper Rom (chess, men’s individual standard P1)

Jasper Rom (chess, men’s individual rapid P1)

Armand Subaste (chess, men’s individual standard VI – B2/B3)

Arman Subaste (chess, men’s individual rapid B2/B3)

Cecilio Bilog, Francis Ching and Rodolfo Sarmiento (chess, men’s team rapid B)

Redor Menandro, Israel Peligro and Arman Subaste (chess, men’s rapid B2/B3)

Taberna Godfrey (cycling, men’s road race C4)

Arthus Bucay (cycling, men’s time trial)

Adeline Ancheta-Dumapong (powerlifting, women’s 86 kilograms)

Gary Bejino (swimming, men’s 100 meters freestyle S6)

Gary Bejino (swimming, 100 meters backstroke)

They will be awarded with a total of P24.3 million cash incentives in pursuant to Republic Act 10699, or the New Incentives Law.

The Philippines has finished fourth among Southeast Asian nations that took part in the meet.

“This is a true testament of our para athletes resiliency, courage and determination in spite of their disablities,” ~ Kiko Diaz

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Paralympic Games

Godfrey Esperanzate Taberna: the club-footed cyclist

Like any other kid in Nueva Vizcaya in the 80s, Godfrey Taberna has wished to be a part of the province’s rich history in cycling.

“Natuto ako sa sarili kong sikap kasi nahihiya na rin ako magpahawak kasi malaki na ako noon. Sa umpisa, balancing muna. Saka naman sa pagpepedal,” shared Godfrey in an interview via Facebook.

But unlike any other kid in the town, Godfrey is club-footed. His father said it was because Godfrey’s mother used to crave for ginger when the latter was pregnant. The doctor believed, however, that it could be because of a medicine her mother should not have taken. Godfrey did not blame them, though. He believes—till now—that God has a plan for him.

Clubfoot, medically labeled as congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), is a general term used to describe a range of unusual positions of the foot. The foot could be pointing downwards; the foot could be pointing upwards. The foot’s heel could be smaller than normal or, in Godfrey’s case; the foot’s toe could be rotated toward the other.

“Hindi ako sumuko kahit lagi ako sumesemplang hanggang sa natututo na at maayos na ang pagba-bike. Hinihiram ko ang bike ng aking mga pinsan—yun maliit, parang semi-mountain bike lang para kapag hindi ko ma-balance, matutukod ko ang paa ko kapag tumumba.”

Early on

Godfrey was born around the time there was an ongoing war in Mindanao. His father, a soldier, had been assigned in Jolo, Sulu so his mother, a housewife, joined in the barracks.

After sometime, his father was reassigned in Luzon and Godfrey had four siblings more. Godfrey was also able to continue his studies even after his father retired. He could recount, however, how he was treated by the other children then.

“Maraming kumukutya sa akin lalo na kaparehong bata sa edad ko noon. Tiniis ko lahat ‘pag naririnig ko pangungutya. Nilalabas ko na lang sa kabilang tenga.”

That was only when Godfrey got to ask God why was he born club-footed.

When Godfrey turned high school, they moved back to Mindanao. His parents have to live within the farm given them, which was farther from where Godfrey and his three sisters live. They either have to walk around a mountain for 10 kilometres or swim in a brook for four kilometres when getting their allowances. So Godfrey strove to learn how to use a bicycle. His father eventually bought him one upon seeing him able to do so.

“Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi may sarili na akong bike. Kahit saan ako mapunta na gusto ko, mapupuntahan ko na. Hindi na rin ako mahihirapan sa pagpunta sa bukid. Malaking bagay rin ang makatipid sa pamasahe.”

Godfrey learned how to bike when he was already in college. He has also come to overcome his self-doubt amidst the rebuke he would often hear. He gained friends and learned his rights as a person, a citizen of his country, and a person with disability. He started to join in various sports such as basketball and volleyball.

Unfortunately, though, when it would be time for the important competitions, Godfrey would be excluded because of his condition.

“May konting galit sa puso ko at pagsisi sa kalagayan ko. Lahat yun ay kinimkim ko na lang at di ko na lang inilalabas. Inaamin ko, naiinggit ako sa kanila. Kung wala akong kapansanan, sana naglalaro ako ngayon. Naipapakita ko ang aking husay, napapanood ako ng maraming tao at napapalakpakan.”

But Godfrey persevered. He continued building his dream to be a cyclist that those watching in TV or reading the newspapers would know about.

“Sa una kong kompetisyon sa bayan namin, nanalo ako. Nagulat sila sa pinakita ko hanggang marami na akong naging kaibigan. Pagkatapos ko ng pag aaral ay nag-bisikleta muna ako kasi dito ako naging masaya. Nag-training kami sa Baguio, Aurora, Manila, Ilocos at at iba pa. Maraming humanga sa akin hanggang sa nagugol lahat sa pag-bibisekleta ang buhay ko.”

Godfrey Taberna (1)

He also met his wife around this time. She supported Godfrey but eventually got fed up when they have nothing anymore to sustain themselves. The situation compelled Godfrey to stop biking. He became an insurance agent, waiter, executive secretary, project manager, and encoder.

After four years, though, Godfrey stumbled across an ad from the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA) looking for cyclists like him.

“Parang nabuhay ulit yun dugo ko sa sports. Nagpunta ako sa Manila, nag-present ako ng mga requirements sa PHILSPADA at naghintay ng approval ng Philippine Sports Commission. Magandang balita at natupad din ang pangarap ko na mapabilang sa mga national athletes!”

Godfrey’s first competition was in the 1st Asian Para Games held in Guangzhou, China last October 2014. He won fourth place then. It was followed by competitions in Malaysia, India, and Korea where he won silver and bronze medals. He had struggled against able-bodied athletes in the Ironman 70.3.

“Mahirap lang maging athlete lalo na sa amin na may kapansanan. Hindi pantay ang benefits sa mga able-bodied. Naghihintay rin lang ng laro para magka-allowance.”

He was also greatly challenged when his father died—not from the vehicular accident the latter was caught in but from blood loss.

“Mahirap maka-move on lalo sa isang katulad ng aking ama na siyang nagpadama ng suporta sa aking gusto. Proud na proud siya sa akin at proud na proud din ako sa kanya.”

At present, Godfrey is lobbying for a bike lane to be regulated. He believes ‘bawat nagbibisekleta ay may karapatan na hindi matakot sa daan’. He is also working in a private company in Greenhills when there are no competitions to support his wife and three children.

“Hindi ako sumuko.” ~ Godfrey Taberna

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the GMA News and Public Affairs

Photo provided by Mr. Taberna