Olympic boxers to be neighbors in Tagaytay

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2021 03:22 PM

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Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial attend the groundbreaking ceremony for their future homes in Tagaytay. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial attend the groundbreaking ceremony for their future homes in Tagaytay. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial attend the groundbreaking ceremony for their future homes in Tagaytay. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

The three Filipino boxers who brought home medals from the Tokyo Olympics saw for the first time on Wednesday where their houses will be built, as a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Tagaytay.

The three houses, courtesy of Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, will be located in Brgy. San Jose in Tagaytay City, with construction expected to be finished by November.

Present during the groundbreaking were silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, as well as bronze medalist Eumir Marcial. Also there was Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz, who also received a house and lot in the same area.

The four Olympians will eventually be neighbors in what will turn out to be the "Olympic Lane."

"'Yung kalye nila, Olympic Lane na. Papangalan ng lungsod ng Tagaytay. So siguro later on, magiging tourist attraction na rin 'yun, doon nakatira 'yung mga Olympic medalist natin, at magsisilbing inspirasyon sa mga kabataan, mga pumapasyal dito na pumasok sa sports," said Sen. Francis Tolentino, the former mayor of Tagaytay who was also present in the Thanksgiving Mass and groundbreaking ceremony.

The three boxers all expressed their gratitude for this latest blessing after their triumph in the Tokyo Olympics. 

"Tulad nga noong sa sinabi ko sa post na, kumbaga, hindi ko in-expect lahat ng mga blessing na 'to, 'yung nangyari. Talagang unexpected talaga 'yung mga blessings," said Marcial, who brought home a bronze after competing in the loaded men's middleweight division.

"So gusto kong pasalamatan 'yung mga tao, mga Pilipinong nagsuporta. At higit sa lahat, 'yung Panginoon dahil may tao siyang ginamit para tulungan at biyayaan po kami. So thank you po," he added.

Petecio, who will give the house to one of her siblings, was emotional as she recalled how she and her family didn't have a permanent home while she was growing up.

"Dati, wala po kaming permanenteng bahay, nakikitira lang sa trapal ang ilalim, sa puno ng rambutan lang po," said Petecio. "Ngayon po, masasabi kong, ah grabe, may sariling bahay na po ako, kami ng pamilya ko, lalo na ng mga kapatid ko."

"Sa kapatid ko po ito, actually. Lahat po ng natanggap ko, wala po sa akin. Sila po talaga inuna ko, mga kapatid ko. Kasi sabi ko, ayaw kong maranasan nila 'yung naranasan ko noon, na paghihirap po. So sa mga kapatid ko't pamangkin ko, sa kanila po 'to. Sa kanila po lahat 'to," she added.

Aside from the house and lot, the Olympians are also set to receive vehicles from another sponsor.

Paalam, the youngest member of the boxing team, said he will use the vehicle to help his family.

"Para din 'to sa kanila po at saka makaahon na din sa hirap po. Makatulong konti po. At saka para din sa kanila talaga 'to," he said.

The Olympians also received millions in cash incentives from the government and the private sector after their historic campaign in the Tokyo Olympics, where the Philippines had its best ever showing.

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