The medal winning boxers for the Tokyo Olympics will be in Baguio where they will be honored and bequeathed with the biggest reward money to be ever given to excelling athletes on Monday.
Carlo Paalam has already arrived in the city as early as last Saturday as the former senior high school from the University of Baguio has started his training for the Southeast Asian Games in May next year in Hanoi, Vietnam.
He is the first to arrive among the four boxers who saw action in the delayed Tokyo Games as he awaits bronze medal winner Eumir Marcial, qualifier Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio at the Philippine Boxing Teams quarters at the Baguio Teachers Camp.
Petecio is expected to be the last to arrive as the silver medal winner will still have to report to the Philippine Coast Guard, where she is now enlisted, before motoring to Baguio, said former national coach Glicerio Catolico, Jr.
Councilor and Sanguniang Kabataan chair Levy Lloyd Orcales said Petecio and Paalam will both get their P500,000 cash rewards for winning silver medals.
Their respective coaches will also receive cash reqrds, Orcales added.
“It will be on Monday after the motorcade and a short ceremony here,” said the youthful city council member, who worked for the approval of the amended sports code that also now considers adopted athletes like the Mindanao born Paalam and Petecio.
After the city council honors, the four will be motored to UB where school officials led by president Javier Herminio Bautista will host them with a dinner and will be honored just the same.
Petecio is expected to go back to duty with the PCG after the ceremonies, added Catolico, who was instrumental in recruiting the fighters and affording them scholarship at said school.
“Marcial was already here as early as 2016,” said Catolico, who was speaking with the bronze medalist over phone last week with the boxer in Siargao for his honeymoon.
Petecio fell to Sena Irie last August 3, and Paalam came short of a third round rally to British fighter Galal Yafai from a first round knockdown during the finals on August 3 and 7, respectively.
“This is the best gift for us,” said then UB athletic director Alan Elegado, right after Paalam loss in the men’s flyweight championship at the Kokugikan Arena. Elegado died last Novfember after a brief bout with cancer.