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Philippine National Games- Gymnastics: The Next Football?

I feel ignorant when I entered the gymnasium of San Agustin College. It was my first time to watch a gymnastics event other than what I watched on TV during the Olympics. Watching them compete artistically makes me drool over. But yesterday was a different story, I was at the gymnasium to witness the future of Philippine Gymnastics.

doing some floor exercise practice as warm-up

Those 2 hours of watching was swift and I’m glad I chose this event for the day. Not only that it was a joy to see gymnasts bonding together even if they are competing against each other. Hoorays and encouragement are shouted to each athletes before they start their performance. It was a healthy competition.


"Nato" is the one with the Blue and Red suit.


Fortunato “Nato” Abad

So I met Fortunato “Nato” Abad, 19, who is ranked #1 in this sports in the senior division. He is on his 2nd year highschool studies at Carlos P. Garcia in Quezon City. He trains everyday this summer break except on Sundays from 8am-12nn and 3-7pm. I was amazed at his skills on the parallel bars when I was still watching him, later did I know that it was his favorite among the 6 events (floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, high bar, parallel bar). He dreams of competing in the world championship one day.

Coach Janna from Romania

And I think that would not be far from now as Janna, their Romanian coach, said they are ready for the SEA Games next year. Coach Janna also said that gymnastics are for Filipinos because it doesn’t require a height like in basketball or volleyball. She can see development in her almost 2 months of stay in the country as a coach to these young kids.

Caloy Yulo, the next Etheridge?

11-year old Caloy Yulo

I also got to know this young boy Carlos Yulo, 11, who bagged 4 medals in the Palarong Pambansa this year. I can tell you that he is the crowd favorite even at his young age. Would this be the next Neil Etheridge? Me thinks that given timing, support and proper training this kid will bring glory to our country.


Monteclaro Brothers, the next Younghusbands?

Let me also tell you of the twin brothers from the US. Christian and John Monteclaro, 20, who came here in the Philippines for the first time and also joined the competition. Man, I tell you they are strong and fit for the games. They are an inspiration to the kids and they were doing high fives after their successful show of talent. Could they be the next Younghusbands?


The Monteclaro twins (in white) having a nice bonding time with the other participants

Kudos Ms. Cynthia Carrion and Cong. Manny Pacquiao!

I ended the coverage after an uplifting talk with no other than the president of Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP), Ms. Cynthia Carrion-Norton who shared her passion of improving the condition of gymnastics in the Philippines. She said that some of these kids even came from the streets but with the help of kind-hearted individuals and sponsors they were able to train this pool of talents to be excel in sports. She also added that the Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao supports GAP, so I say kudos to that Congressman Pacquiao!

Ms. Cynthia, President of GAP, flanked by the senior division gymnasts


I hope that there will be more sponsors who will are willing to make a difference in the lives of the future of Philippines Sports. I even pray that this sports like that of football and boxing be given more coverage as I can see potential in these kids.

a kid doing showing his skills on the pommel horse


hands full of chalk to prevent from chafing

A boy practices at the still rings

the girl gymnasts are presented before the judges before the event

Can gymnastics be the next football in the Philippine Sporting community?

Definitely, Yes. If people will be willing to sponsor these talents and if funds are used properly. I’m very much excited for the next 5 to 10 years of the GAP development.


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Philippine National Games 2011 Series is a break from my usual running event posts. The series will highlight stories behind every sports represented as well as athletes who display big potential in their own field. My gratitude goes to PSC Commissioner Jolly Gomez, Sir Lito Cinco and Ms. Mylene Conception for the opportunity to cover such a big event. Mabuhay po kayo pati narin ang PSC at POC!
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  1. May 24th, 2011 at 02:07 | #1

    James–in my own little way as a blogger.I wanna promote the sport too.meron pabang next round?I wanna cover it.:D


    journeyingjames Reply:

    hanggang sa may 27 ang games ng gymnastics dito sa bacolod.. pwede kapa humabol :)
    but i will tag you along kapag ininvite ako ni Ms.Cynthia. she is very passionate about this sa manila. let’s promote this sports pre!


    Kat Reply:

    Can you let me know too when they have an event in Manila? :D


  2. May 24th, 2011 at 02:15 | #2

    I too was wondering where gymnastics went? I used to take classes when I was a child and it’s hard to find classes for toddlers and kids nowadays. I do hope gymnastics could make a come back. I really hope my little girl can see an event like this. She’s been wanting to do a cartwheel since she turned 2 (she’s 2.5 now) :D


    journeyingjames Reply:

    yes, a comeback! let’s hope for that. i think GAP does some trainings in Vito Cruz. im not so sure where exactly


  3. May 25th, 2011 at 08:15 | #3

    aspired to be a gymnast once upon a time. lol. lack of gyms unfortunately, never na natuloy dream ko. haha. still a big fan of women’s gymnastics though. :) glad to see its making its way into the Philippines.


    journeyingjames Reply:

    yeah yeah! i hope that many will be encouraged to join this event. sayang yung potential ng mga pinoy sa larong gymnastics


    June 17th, 2011 at 11:18 | #4



    journeyingjames Reply:

    i believe you can ma’am. just contact Phil. Gymnastics Association, the office is near LRT Taft, in front of La Salle


  1. May 29th, 2011 at 04:35 | #1

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