TAGUM City, Davao – Marvi Rivera bared that crossing over from athletics to arnis was a case of love at first sight, and the switch has paid off well for him in the 2016 Batang Pinoy held here.
Rivera, 10, spent a month training under athletics before realizing his body couldn’t stand the physical demands of the sport. Then he saw kids wielding bastons inside the Dumalinao Regional Pilot School in Zamboanga del Sur and he was instantly smitten.
"Nakita ko yung arnis dun sa paaralan sa amin. Nag-sparring kasi sila. Ang gandang tignan," Rivera said.
"Isang buwan lang ako sa athletics. Hindi ko nagustuhan kasi mahina katawan ko. Mas gusto ko na yung arnis," he added.
Months later, the Zamboanga del Sur lad impressed in his first Batang Pinoy stint at the NCCC Mall here.
Rivera ruled the elementary single weapon event with a score of 47.25, besting Christian Lagula of Davao (46.75) and Iloilo's Thaniel Jan Sapio (46.5).
He then topped the sword and dagger event with 48.25 points, giving his delegation its first two gold medals in the tournament organized by the Philippine Sports Commission. Jeavan Susal (47.75) of Iloilo City and Bacolod's John Del Jagolino (47.25) came in second and third, respectively.
"Nakinig ka lang sa coach. Nag-ensayo ng mabuti at nakuha ko yung binigay nya sa akin na anyo," he said.
His dream, though, is to become an engineer. And he sees the sport as his only way to achieve that.
"Gusto kong magtayo ng malaking bahay," said Rivera, adding he lives in a small house in Dumalinao.