Former Asian Games silver medalist, now a farmer, donates vegetables to alma mater

Published March 7, 2021, 2:16 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Left photo shows Marvin Sicomen and his four-year-old son Melvin wearing old and new combat gloves while the right photo shows Team Lakay members Eduard Folayang and coach Mark Sangiao at Sicomen’s own farm at Lamut Beckel, La Trinidad in Benguet. (Photos from Marvin Sicomen and Eduard Folayang’s Facebook account)

Marvin Sicomen, a silver medalist in the 2002 Asian Games, decided to live the plain and happy life in the mountains of Cordillera after retiring from combat sports in 2004.

Ever since he was a kid, Sicomen is proud to be a farmer. Having born to parents Antonio and Alona, who are also both farmers hailing from Benguet, little did Sicomen knew that living in simplicity could be fulfilling.

Last Thursday, March 4, in celebration of Women’s Month, Sicomen donated bags of various vegetables fresh out of his farm from Lamut Beckel, La Trinidad to give back to his alma mater Baguio City High School.

This, amid the slow harvest season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo from Eduard Folayang’s Facebook account

“At first, we have to clean the veggies for next plantation. I did not harvest because of low price. If I’ll bring [it] to the market, ‘lugi’ because of low price,” Sicomen, 39, told Manila Bulletin in a Facebook Messenger exchange.

In this file photo, Philippine wushu team members, from left, Marvin Sicomen, Eduard Folayang, coach Yu Shi Bu and Rexel Nganhayna strike a pose after winning medals in the 14th Asian Games in Busan, South Korea last 2002. (Photo courtesy of Marvin Sicomen)

Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, who competed alongside Sicomen in the wushu sanda event of the 14th Asian Games in Busan, South Korea almost two decades ago, commended his former teammate for the noble act by posting an inspirational message on Facebook.

With the help of Team Lakay members Folayang, Joshua Pacio, the ONE Championship strawweight titleholder, and coach Mark Sangiao, among others, they were able to haul and deliver the goods at Baguio City High School.

Sicomen particularly chose his alma mater as a beneficiary to pay homage to his former science teacher Hannah Rapadas. Both his daughter Riza, 15, and Marvin Jr., 13, are also studying at BCHS.

“She (Rapadas) [gives] me a lot [of] inspiration that until now, she still [teaches] in that institution. My problem is how to deliver my products, so [I called] coach Mark Sangiao and Team Lakay — from harvest, hauling and transportation.”

They made not have a fancy life like others but for Sicomen, nothing beats the fulfillment of helping others while enjoying the company of his happy family.

Now, the former wushu practitioner leads the Lamut Multi-Purpose Cooperative as its chairman and is also a proud agri-entrepreneur.

Photo courtesy of Marvin Sicomen

“Well as a farmer, I’m happy. As a family man, that would be the best wealth that I had in my life. All birthdays [of] my children, I was there. Minsan may handa, minsan wala. Pero masaya (Sometimes, we celebrate, sometimes not. Still we’re happy). Together with my wife (Melvic), if they get sick, we [take] care of them.”