“Nawala nga ang bahay at ang mga kagamitan namin noon, pero hindi ang pamilya ko at ang pagmamahal ko sa boxing,” says Dexter Louie Racoma, champion in the kids antweight category in this year’s Palarong Pambansa.
He has not stopped smiling since he won the gold, even with his home town still reeling from the damage wrought by the 2012 killer typhoon Pablo.
Dexter exhibits a passion for the sport and an ability to hone his skills and be bigger that his competition, even at such a young age.
“Na-eenjoy ko pong mag boxing. Gusto ko pong parang maging si Donaire pag laki ko,” he shares.
This is something the entire town recognizes and encourages – even the mayor has told him that boxing should be part of his priority as a student athlete.
“Sinuportahan po nila ako. Lalo na nung nalaman nila na isa ako sa mga pupunta sa Palarong Pambansa.”
Coach Edward Kagatin, who saw his potential as an amateur boxer, has continued his training despite the lack of a training facility.
“Kahit nasira yung lugar na pinag-ttrainan namin, tuloy pa rin kaming nakikipag-sparring.”
Dexter’s determination to win – backed by an ample amount of sweat, pain and tears, and the support of his town mates – paid off in the end as he emerged victorious.
Meanwhile, his family is still recovering from the disaster and has now rebuilt their home from scratch, driven by hope and pride once again flown in the flag of this calamity-stricken community. Waving that flag is a young boy with a love and passion for the sweet science.