Olympic silver medalist Carlo Paalam recently received a P3.6-million worth of house-and-lot unit in his homeland Cagayan de Oro City from local developer Vismin Cebu Landmasters, Inc.
“You’ve given inspiration to millions of young children. This is the first ever house that we’ve gifted – and we’ve given it to someone who deserves it, ” said Chief Operating Officer Franco Soberano, who led the turnover ceremony of the two-story, three-bedroom unit. “We see the sacrifices that you and your family have made and that’s why you deserve it.”
Fr. Mars Tan, S.J, Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan president proceeded with the house blessing while Chief Finance Officer Grant Cheng, Assistant Vice President Mark Chang, CdO Vice Mayor Hon. Rainer Joaquin “Kikang” Uy, Councilor Jay Roa Pascual, CdO sports official Stephen “Pong” Dacoco were also present.
The 23-year-old Paalam, for his part, recalled his life facing poverty and braving the streets as a scavenger before becoming a silver medalist in the Olympics.
His boxing career began in CdO’s “Boxing at the Park” while juggling his time looking for scraps to provide food for his family.
But things have changed now that the Paalam family can live with convenience not only with the new unit but also with other incentives given by the government and private sponsors.
“As a child, I could only dream of buying toys, bikes, and eating in decent restaurants – all of which my parents could not afford to give,” said Paalam, also a gold medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, in local language.
Paalam is the second Filipino boxer in the 2020 Tokyo Games to earn a silver medal, next to Nesthy Petecio, after suffering defeat at the hands of Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in their men’s flyweight finals at the Kokugikan Arena last month.