Fresh from their successful stint at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, national athletes Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno made another milestone in their boxing careers as enlisted personnel of the Philippine Navy (PN).
Paalam, who bagged a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and Magno, the first Filipina boxer to qualify for the Olympics, are the latest addition to the PN force after their application for special enlistment as national athletes have been approved by Navy chief Rear Admiral Adeluis Bordado, it was bared Friday, Aug. 20.
Paalam and Magno, who now both carry the rank apprentice seaman (ASN), paid a courtesy call at the Navy headquarters at the Naval Station Jose Andrada in Manila where they took oath.
They were met by Maj. Gen. Nestor Herico, PN vice commander, who represented Bordado.
Paalam said that it was a “dream come true” for him to join the Navy.
“Lubos po akong nagpapasalamat kasi pangarap ko talagang maging sundalo (I am filled with gratitude because it is my dream to be a soldier),” he said.
Meanwhile, Magno vowed to “reciprocate the trust and confidence” that the Navy has given her.
The two athletes were lauded by Herico “for giving a glimmer of hope” to Filipinos amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic through their laudable performance at the Olympics.
“In the all-too-familiar sullen mood because of the pandemic, you inspired the Filipino nation and gave the hope that all of us direly need,” Herico said.
Paalam and Magno joined their fellow accomplished athletes weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and boxer Eumir Marcial in the military reserve force.
Diaz, who gave the country its first Olympic gold medal, and Marcial, who had a bronze medal, are both enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).