LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – "Kembot Davao! Kembot Davao! (Shake it, Davao! Shake it, Davao!)"
Spectators yelled non-stop at the track oval in the BU-Albay Sports and Tourism Complex as they were entertained by the athlete from Davao Region who won gold in the boys 2000-meter walk – a demonstration sport – during the 2016 Palarong Pambansa Saturday, April 16 here.
Jomar Angga, 17, displayed graceful struts that turned the audience wild and boisterous.
He recorded 11:17.10 seconds to grab first place. He was followed by Rey Jun Tamparong of Caraga with 11:31.61 and Francis James San Gabriel of Ilocos Region, 11:58.42.
In the first two laps, San Gabriel led his opponents while Angga was a consistent walker in third place.
But because of his eye-catching gait, Angga stole the audience’s attention. The crowd support, he said, contributed to his burst of speed and agility.
“Alam ko pong ako ang tsini-cheer nila kaya lalo kong binilisan. Kahit nahuli ako noong mga naunang ikot, hindi ako na-tense para hindi ako ma-DQ (disqualify),” he said. (I know they are cheering for me, that's why I was pushed to walk faster. Even if I was behind in the first couple of laps, I did not allow myself to tense up and to avoid getting disqualified.)
Angga, who is openly gay, admitted he sometimes experiences bullying, which he says doesn't bother him.
Instead, being gay gives him confidence to join various activities in his school.
“Para kina nanay at tatay po ang medal ko (My medal is for my mother and father),” he said.
RECAPS AND MEDAL TALLIES: