But Tangub City, a third class city in the province of Misamis Occidental, is now poising for another distinction that comes from the sports arena: the producer of young potential track stars, especially in throwing events, in the country's second biggest island.The name — Jerome Oclarit — became visible in the sports page of the country’s various newspapers every time there is an athletics competition from regional to inter-school.It started when the 18-year-old Tangub City National High School alumnus won the secondary boys shot put gold in the Palarong Pambansa in Koronadal City last year.
His triumph in the summer games among the elementary and secondary students gave him a chance to study at the Far Eastern University in Manila.
FEU, touted as the athletics powerhouse, reportedly recruited Oclarit, who was 16 then, following his golden performance in the summer games along with other track stars, including his childhood buddy Christopher Ulboc, a fast rising long distance runner.Ulboc and Oclarit live just 30 meters apart in Barangay 2 in Tangub, were classmates in high school and are still classmates taking up education at FEU.
When the 5’11” Oclarit retired from the Palarong Pambansa last year, another kababayan shone and continues to give glory and honors for Tangub, whose economy predominantly relies on agriculture and fishing.
Edward Paul Paler retained the gold previously won by Oclarit to make the Tangubanons proud.It can be recalled that Paler, who threw to a distance of 11.74 meters to clinch the valuable gold medal which he dedicated to his public school teacher father, was the first gold medal won by Northern Mindanao in the week-long meet.
It was Oclarit who inspired Paler, an aspiring policeman, to engage in athletics, especially in throwing events.
Like Oclarit, Paler is also studying at Tangub City National High School and enjoying a support from Mayor Jennifer Wee-Tan.
Juanito Borres, who coached the Northern Mindanao athletics team during the Puerto Princesa Palarong Pambansa last month, said the success of Tangub athletes is all because of the support of the municipal government spearheaded by Tan.
“Every time there’s a competition, they will send their athletes to compete,” said Borres. He added that there were lots of throwers from Tangub who reigned supreme in the past.
He noted that the local government has been giving college scholarships to potential athletes at the Gov. Alfonso D. Tan Memorial College.
In the recent Mindanao qualifying of the 3rd Philippine Olympic Festival in Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental-Tangub City hauled nine of its total 14 gold medals in athletics, including three from throwing events.
Paler, 16, won the gold in secondary shot put, besting Del Mark Remotigue — a team mate, classmate and neighbor — who settled for silver.
Vanrazil Lao pocketed the girl’s shot put gold while Abegail Ivy Alo ruled the girl’s javelin throw.
Paler and Lao also copped silver medals in javelin throw and discuss throw, respectively.
Middle-distance runner Jennelyn Surdilla and jumper Regine Ganiolon added two gold medals apiece for Misamis Occidental-Tangub City to place 7th over-all, with 14-15-22 gold-silver-bronze medal production.
Surdilla ruled the girl’s 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter run while Ganiolon topped the girl’s long jump and triple jump.
Other throwers who once made the people of Tangub proud were Arnold Unabia and Nino Alo. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)