The Philippine Water Polo on Sunday ended the country’s 10-year drought in the competitive water sport, garnering a silver medal in the 2019 South East Asian (SEA) Games.
Romark Belo, the Palaweño center forward/center back, in an exclusive interview with Palawan News on Monday said that he is “proud” and “grateful for the overwhelming support” from fellow countrymen.
“Napaka-sarap sa feeling na manalo. Lalo na kapag naglalaro ka para sa bansa mo. Dahil alam mong nagbunga na ung matagal mo nang pinaghirapan,” he said.
Belo was an alumnus and a former varsity swimmer of Palawan National School (PNS). He was recruited by Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) swimming coach Dale Evangelista following a competitive stance during MIMAROPA meet.
Belo said that he initially dreamt of becoming a seaman or an engineer and pointed out that he did not even know about the water polo team in the country.
“Nakapasa na ‘ko sa entrance exam ng Palawan State University (PSU) noon bago lumipad pa-Manila. Hindi ganun kasikat ung water polo sa Pinas. Lately ko na lang nalaman yung sport na yan. Pero nung nalaman ko na amaze ako and nag baka sakali ako na baka mag excel ako sa sport na yan so itinuloy ko na lang hanggang sa makamit ko ung goal ko,” he said.
Born and raised in Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City, Belo encouraged young Palaweño athletes to continuously work hard for their dream.
“Ituloy lang ’yong pag achieve ng goals nyo. Kahit na mahirap, kahit na madaming problema na dumating. Dahil wala namang pagsubok na hindi natin kayang lampasan,” Belo said.