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    SEAG champ Alfie Catalan, military athletes called to action in fight vs COVID

    Mar 21, 2020

    OFTEN tasked to bring honor to the country in tournaments overseas, military athletes are now called upon to join the fight against the coronavirus.

    Three-time Southeast Asian Games cycling champion Alfie Catalan and multi-stage cycling veteran Cris Joven lead military athletes who are back with their respective units enforcing the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.

    Catalan, whose speciality is the Individual Pursuit in track cycling, is also a staff sergeant in the Army waiting to be assigned to the field.

    “Sacrifice po talaga para sa mga kababayan natin. Kailangan natin labanan itong virus. Mas mabigat nga po 'to kalaban kesa giyera, kasi ito hindi mo maiiwasan. Hindi mo alam kung asan siya at sino ang dapat taguan,” said Catalan, who is coming off a stint with the Philippine Army Bicycology team in the last LBC Ronda Pilipinas.

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    "Wala na kami pahinga. After Ronda, pinatawag na kami kasi need na namin magbantay,” he shared.

    Catalan is currently assigned as Special Service Center-Installation Management Command at the Army camp in Fort Bonifacio.

    "Iniikot ko yung mga naka-deploy sa amin dito sa Army gym. Inaalam kung may problema yung mga nasa frontline. Sa ngayon hindi pa kami frontline, pero kapag kinulang yung mga naka-deploy sa labas, next na kami,” he said.

    "Pero ang trabaho sa amin, starting March 28, dadalhin na dito yung lahat ng galing sa frontline, quarantine sila ng 14 days. Kami ang magbabantay sa kanila,” added the 37 year old rider.

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    Meanwhile, Joven works in the graveyard shift with an Army unit that patrols parts of Metro Manila to make sure the Enhanced Community Quarantine in followed.

    “Hirap ho nung iba pagsabihan, pipilitin talaga gumawa ng katwiran. Ipipilit ang gusto nila,” said Joven, a consistent title favorite in multi-stage cycling races,

    “Sana po maintindihan nila na para sa atin rin itong quarantine. Batas po yan. Sana sumunod na lang, kasi need lang naman natin ma-contain yung virus. Tapos move on na, back to normal na. The more kasi na magmatigas ulo tayo, the more na kakalat ito at marami maaeptkuhan.

    “Mamaya pamilya pa natin madamay. Nakita n'yo naman siguro nangyayari sa Iran at Italy?” added the Iriga City, Camarines Sur native.

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    Catalan bared that along with their daily responsibilities as Armymen, part of the sacrifice is not seeing his family for months now. He has been away his wife and kids since two weeks before the February 23-March 5 Ronda Pilipinas.

    “Dapat ho bakasyon kami with family ngayon, kaso tinawag tayo ng trabaho. Need unahin to. Kailangan tayo ng bayan. Sana lang kapag natapos na ito, may chance na ko makapag-bonding ulit kasama asawa ko at mga anak,” said Catalan.

    “Kasama to sa sakripisyo ko para sa kanila. Para mas lumaki chance na maging safe sila at lahat ng Pilipino,” he added.

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