Tagaytay City—Filipino Olympic medallist Carlo Paalam is finally getting back in shape after spending a month in Baguio City, training and preparing for his coming fights next year.
The 23-year-old Paalam got more inspired yesterday after a 150-sq. meter housing unit that has been promised to him and his fellow Olympic medallists (silver) Nesthy Petecio and (bronze) Eumir Marcial were finally turned over to them.
“Nag-start na po ako ng training. Mga one month na po. Paghahandaan ko po ang mga ibibigay sa akin na laban next year,” said Paalam, who is set to see action in the coming Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games.
The 5’4” Paalam, who brought home the silver medal during his stint in the Tokyo Olympics, said he is grateful for the blessing of his new home at the Olympic inside Bgy. San Jose in Tagaytay City.
Last August, Paalam, Petecio and Marcial, along with Olympic gold medallist Hidilyn Diaz, were given housing units for winning medals during the Olympiad by Tagaytay Rep. and Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, and his brother, Sen. Francis Tolentino.
Paalam settled for a silver medal after losing to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in the men’s flyweight finals.
Born in Talakag, Bukidnon before his family settled in Cagayan de Oro, Paalam comes from a family of 10 in an upland town in Bukidnon province.
“Okay na po kami. Naibigyan na po POC president Tolentino at ni Sen. Tolentino ang bahay. Welcome po sa amin ito,” said Paalam, who brought relatives in viewing the property, which is next to the ones owned by Marcial and Petecio.
aalam’s family eventually relocated to Cagayan de Oro, where he grew up and later developed his skills as a boxer.
Due to poverty, Paalam used to scavenge for garbage in a stinking sanitary landfill in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro and gained interest in the sport when he joined weekly matches. He was finally discovered in 2009 after slugging it out at the local “Boxing at the Park.”
Paalam have received incentives totalling of P24.5 million in cash.
This includes P5 million, under Republic Act 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, where Olympic silver medalists are entitled to P5 million
He got another P5 million through sports patron Manny Pangilinan and his MVP Sports Foundation and another P5 million from San Miguel Corporation boss Ramon Ang.
Meanwhile, the POC chief¥ said he is glad the Olympians and their families are appreciating the blessings that they have received.
“Masaya ang mga pamilya nila, kahit may virus at Omicron ngayong kapaskuhan,” said Tolentino.