Coach Boy – Part-time Potpot Driver; Full-time Palarong Pambansa Gymnastics Coach
Posted by: | on May 18, 2012
Who is Coach Boy Bandalan to Julie Ann Borneo ? To her she is the trainer who called interested young athletes to train for Gymnastics at Baybay, Leyte.
Who is Coach Boy Bandalan to me? He is A Palarong Pambansa Gymnastics Coach.
But Coach Boy is more than that to different people.
This is not going to be a post on why does he have to be a Pot-pot driver when he is already a Gymnastics coach. This is a post on how a former Palarong Pambansa athlete himself inspired young kids from Baybay, Leyte to come together to Baybay High and learn Gymnastics so that one day they will compete at Palarong Pambansa together with the country’s finest athletes across the nation.
When I first met Coach Boy I did not suspect him as an athlete let alone a Gymnastics coach. Not like Coach Sweet who is lean and slender, Coach Boy was muscular. You see I have this idea in my head of what gymnasts look like. After my interview with Coach Boy I have a renewed idea on of what gymnasts can look like.
My interview with Coach Boy focused on his experience as a Palarong Pambansa coach. He also shared with me a little bit about his personal life. He is a father of eight but is currently supporting five. The children left with him are still young and he has one daughter competing for Palarong Pambansa 2012 as well. His other children are either too old already or too young to compete. He is a single father.
He was a former Palarong Pambansa athlete and a silver medalist in the 1980 Palarong Bagong Lipunan. He worked different jobs to support himself and his family. He once worked as a janitor and he also coached gymnastics for the Palarong Pambansa Metro Manila delegates. When he came back to Leyte in 2003 he attended the EVRAA (Eastern Visayas Regional Athletics Association) which made him interested to teach Gymnastics. In 2005, he was asked by Principal Shirley Gofoy of BayBay High to teach Gymnastics for the athletes in Leyte. He works as a Pot-pot driver in the morning from 4 am until 3pm. Then in the afternoons, he goes to Baybay High to train gymnasts. When I first saw him he was giving instructions to several gymnasts about vaulting.
Throughout my interview with Coach Boy he appeared serious, solemn and very confident. He did not hide the fact that he holds odd jobs to support his family. Instead I sensed an air of pride when he talks about how he earns an honest living and that he has supported several kids to achieve their dreams as a gymnast. Although I noticed a distant look on his eyes when he mentioned about one male athlete who he was training but did not make it to Palarong Pambansa. He talked about attitude and how important it is for an athlete to have the right kind of attitude as a person and as a trainee. He said that this boy, who showed potential, decided to collect bottles and newspaper instead to earn a living but promised to return to training the next year. Coach boy stressed about the importance of proper support the athletes should be getting to reach Palarong Pambansa. Just like Julie Ann who has the support of her parents and grandmother or his daughter who has him as a father and a coach for Palarong Pambansa 2012.
I thanked Coach Boy for the opportunity and time to interview him. I told him that I will publish his story and that I will do my best to spread his message online. Yet it took me some time to write this post for Special Education Philippines. I have a hard time to write when Im not inspired and since this is a very inspiring story I want to be in that element when I write this piece. Until I saw this video of Will Smith from YouTube. I remembered one of my favorite lines from “The Pursuit of Happyness”,
“Don’t ever let somebody tell you…you can’t do something. You got a dream..you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves..they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something go get it“.
and I think Coach Boy is one of those people who gets it…