DAGUPAN CITY – The Balon Dagupan athletes made their presence felt when they hauled five gold, six silver, and five bronze medals in the recently concluded Philippine National Games (PNG) in Cebu on May 19 to 25.
It was in the Karatedo event that became a virtual gold mine for the Balon Dagupan athletes where they bagged four gold medals and three silver medals.
PNG first-timer John Enrico Vasquez accounted for two gold medals, first in Junior Kata and second in the Junior Minus 55kg.
Karatekas Jayson Ramil Macaalay and John Matthew Manantan added one gold medal each in Senior Minus 60kg and Seniors Minus 75kg, respectively.
The silver medals were won by Mark Andrew Manantan in Seniors Kata; Jz Singsing in Seniors Minus 67kg; and Alexis Louise Nunez in Seniors Minus 55kg.
The fifth gold medal came from gymnast Jhune Michael Sajonas who ruled in Power Tumbling and added a bronze in the Trampoline event.
Meanwhile, Dagupan swimmers all brought home major awards, with Paul Andrew Rioflorido winning six medals.
Rioflorido earned three silver medals in the 200m Individual Medley (IM), 100m Breaststroke and 4×50 Free Relay Events, and added three bronze medals in 50m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, and 4×50 Medley Relay events.
Swimmers Jeremy Carlo Jizmundo bagged two silver medals in 50m Fly and 4x50m Free Relay events and one bronze medal in the 4×50 Medley Relay event.
John Karlo Carula and John Carlo Rioflorido both bagged silver medals in the 4x50m Free Relay events and bronze medals in 4x50m Medley Relay.
For his two gold medals in the PNG, John Enrico Vasquez expressed his gratitude for Mayor Belen T. Fernandez’s continuous support for the city’s sports programs and its athletes.
“I’m really thankful for the full support that she (the mayor) gives to us athletes. There’s really nothing to say but thank you,” said Vasquez.
A national athlete since 2015, Vasquez is now preparing to qualify for the coming Southeast Asian Games which will be hosted by the Philippines next year.
Meanwhile, gymnast Jhune Michael Sajonas expressed his excitement when he earned a spot in the National Pool of Athletes, saying: “I’m really happy because it has always been my dream to be in the national team.”
The medal haulers received their cash incentives from the city government: P10,000 for every gold medal, P5,000 for every silver medal and P3,000 for every bronze medal during the closing ceremony of the Summer Sports Clinic at the People’s Astrodome on May 31.
The ceremony served as the graduation rite for the more than 800 Dagupeno youth who participated in the three-week sports clinic conducted from May 7 to 31.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez thanked the Dagupeno youth in her message, for constantly inspiring her to continue pushing for progress in the city for the betterment of future generations. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)