DEFYING STEREOTYPES on student athletes, this guy proves that there is as much gray matter between his ears as the muscles in his arms.
Arnel Jordan B. Doming has gathered 15 gold medals from various regional and national sports competitions he participated while in college. Last March 26 he received yet another. “It is the most precious one,” he says.
Domingo graduated cum laude with the degree bachelor in secondary education, major in mathematics.
Four years ago, Domingo’s future was unsure. Although he graduated as valedictorian both at the Bagbago-Puttao Elementary School in his hometown Solsona and at the Ablan Memorial Academy in the same town, he could not go to college because of financial limitations. Domingo’s father Erneso died when he was in fourth grade. His mother Lorna is a housekeeper.
The responsibility of providing the family’s needs rested on Arnel, second of six siblings, and Jayrald, their eldest. They often had to miss school to work for others’ farms during planting and harvest seasons (gapas and raep).
He applied for admission at the Philippine Military Academy and passed the academic and physical examinations, but failed the academy’s rigorous eye examination.
Domingo was already resigned to the likely possibility that he could not proceed to college when Annette Ablan, daughter of Ilocos Norte 1st District Congressman Roque R. Ablan, offered him a job at their family house in Laoag City. The young Ablan was greatly moved when he listened to Domingo deliver his valedictory speech, and when she learned that the ace student would not go to college due to poverty.
Provincial Board Member Kris Ablan says Domingo, whom he describes as “intelligent, quiet, and hard working,” has always been considered as part of their family. He was given ample time to study. His work at the Ablan household was mostly in the kitchen, and only during weekends.
Domingo wanted to take up engineering, but decided to enroll at the College of Teacher Education due to proximity. Over time, however, he eventually fell in love with the teaching profession, and now dreams of working in a public school. Speaking of his desire to be a part of the lives of young people, he gratefully remembers Mr. Edilberto Acedillo, his high school teacher who financed his secondary education.
In MMSU, Domingo’s talent was discovered during the University Palaro when he was in first year. His first regional competition was in 2007 at the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association Meet held in La Union, where he won twin gold medals in shot put and javelin throw.
“Silent operator” is how MMSU sports chief Robert Barangan describes his top athlete. “He is a very humble person with a low-key personality, but once he is in the game, he dominates the field, and he is second to none,” says Barangan of Domingo who was recognized as best shot put thrower in the country in the Commission on Higher Education National Games held in Metro Manila last January.