That was the year when Nesthy Petecio, then 15 years old, won a gold medal in the ABAP National Championships in Cagayan de Oro City.
Petecio that year defeated the daughter of Asian Games gold medalist-turned-coach of Cagayan de Oro Team Roberto Jalnaiz in the 50-kilogram division.
After that gold medal win, Petecio has already set her eyes on becoming a member of the national team that year, according to her mother Priscilla who came with the champion to the weekly Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum one Thursday at the Tower Inn.
It was actually Nesthy’s father Teodoro who first taught her how to box and after four years campaigning in the amateur circuit representing Calinan, they finally struck gold.
We first learned about the boxer from then Councilor Louie Villafuerte, Calinan’s boxing godfather. He was a very proud to support the young fighter. Councilor Louie, unfortunately, left us too early when he suffered a stroke and died in 2015. Sometimes, I would ask (forgive me Lord), why would the good men in sports die early, and the sports shenanigans continue to live?
Nesthy at the DSA Forum showed us her gold medal and impressed us with her shadow fight. That speed and agility were later developed when she became a member of the Philippine Team.
Nesthy has become a world champion.
Yes, world champion in the featherweight division of the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in in Ulan-Ude, Russia, hahahaha. We are very happy.
Councilor Louie, for sure, is smiling up in Heaven these days.
“Daan ko pa, mo world champion gyud,” he probably could have said.
Nesthy’s victory is an inspiration to young boxers in Davao and the whole country that anything is possible when there is determination and adequate support.
Barangay Calinan should hold a fiesta for Nesthy.
Let’s declare a “Nesthy Petecio Day”.
That would be a welcome suggestion for her parents, her teachers and classmates at Enrique Bustamante High School, her father’s co-workers at Iluminada Farms.
And if Councilor Louie Villafuerte is alive today, he would completely agree.