A decade ago, how did our new silver medalist spend his winnings of P150?

Aug 7, 2021
PHOTO: AP

FROM P150, to at least P17 million.

That’s how far Carlo Paalam, a former scavenger from Cagayan de Oro, has gone in his sporting career. From his first-ever bout in a “Boxing in the Park” competition in the city’s old Amphitheater, to his most recent recent one, where he clinched silver in the men’s flyweight division against some of the toughest boxers in the world — Carlo Paalam has indeed climbed to the top tier of the sport.

If today the country’s newest Olympic silver medalist is looking at a windfall of millions of pesos in both cash and kind, the prizes he pocketed a decade ago amounted to just P150, according to his father, Piorio Paalam.

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    The start of Carlo Paalam's boxing career

    Speaking to MindaNews’ Froilan Gallardo, the elder Paalam recalled in an interview on August 5: “I never forgot when he brought to me his winnings of P150. Carlo wanted to give it all to me but I told him to keep it so he can buy soap and something to eat.”

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    Gallardo had interviewed the Paalams when they gathered in the house of Carlo’s girlfriend, Stephanie Sepulveda, to watch the boxer’s match against Ryomei Tanaka.

    Paalam would win decisively against his Japanese foe. In photos taken by MindaNews, Sepulveda can be seen bursting into tears as Paalam punched his way into the gold medal round.

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    That same day, Piorio, who works as a construction worker, also revealed to Gallardo that they were still in dire straits. Their house in Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro, still suffers from disconnection because the household could not pay the electric bills.

    Today, Saturday, Paalam fell short against Great Britain’s Galal Yafai, 4-1, in the flyweight finals.

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    Still, his Cinderella run has guaranteed him P17 million in cash, both from the government and the private sector, and likely even more as companies aim to reward the valiant boxer.

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    PHOTO: AP
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