Carla Jean Billido Oquendo, a 24-year-old Palaweña athlete, is set to compete in the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in May in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of the Philippine hockey team.
Oquendo is a native of Narra municipality, where she attended elementary and secondary education before graduating from Cavite State University (CavSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
According to Janella Beltran, sports development officer at the Provincial Sports Office (PSO), the Palaweño community is thrilled that one of its own will represent the Philippines in such a prominent international sporting event.
“We are very glad na mayroong napabilang na Palaweña athlete sa SEA Games for Team Pilipinas which is for hockey, isa itong opportunity na ang mga Palaweño ay kayang makisabay sa mahuhusay na manlalaro sa bansa.,” she said.
“‘Yan din ang gusto natin talaga sa provincial government na lahat sana ng mga aspiring athletes natin ay maging matagumpay sa larangan na meron sila at magsilbi din po sana itong inspirasyon sa lahat ng mga Palaweño athletes natin na lalo pa nilang pagbutihin ang sports na napili nila,” added Beltran.
Oquendo’s inclusion in the Philippine hockey team is a remarkable achievement and a testament to her hard work and dedication, she said.
Hockey is not a popular sport in the country, making her selection even more remarkable.
The Philippine team for hockey has been training intensively for the SEA Games, which will feature teams from all over Southeast Asia. The team left for Cambodia earlier this week to prepare for the tournament, which will be held on May 5 to 16.
The SEA Games is a biennial multi-sport event that features athletes from 11 Southeast Asian countries. The event showcases a variety of sports, including athletics, aquatics, basketball, and football, among others.