Homegrown boxers Rogen Ladon and James Palicte, who won gold medals in the just-concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games, were feted by their townmates during their homecoming in this southern Negros city on Thursday.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who led the welcome program for the sports heroes, acknowledged the boxing champions for giving pride to the city, the province, and the Philippines.
“Aspiring boxers in Bago City will have somebody new to look up to. We will continue our grassroots boxing program,” Yulo said.
Ladon, 26, ruled the flyweight division via unanimous decision against Thailand’s Yaodam Ammarit while Palicte took the top honors in the welterweight division after defeating Nguyen Van Hai of Vietnam.
Upon their arrival, the gold medalists went around in a motorcade.
Ladon visited his alma mater Lag-asan Elementary School while Palicte dropped by Ma. Rosario Araneta Elementary School.
At the Bantayan Park, city officials and their families joined them for the welcome rites, where Ladon and Palicte each received a certificate of recognition and a cash incentive of PHP50,000 each.
After their homecoming, Ladon and Palicte will return to Manila to resume their training in the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
They will join the other SEA Games medalists during the courtesy visit to President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on December 18.
Ladon, a 2016 Rio Olympics campaigner and a silver medalist in the 2018 Asian Games, said his family inspires him to always do his best.
Palicte said that to win the gold, he applied all the skills he acquired from the training and the experiences he gained from joining various competitions.
They urged aspiring boxers to put a value on training and learn self- discipline. “Nothing is impossible. Pray always,” Palicte said.
“They should be dedicated in their chosen field,” Ladon added. (PNA)