Top athlete crosses finish line, cum laude

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.

Congratulations, Arnel.

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

40 thoughts on “Top athlete crosses finish line, cum laude”

  1. I truly agree on you Tita Lita, but up to a point. There are plenty of students who are children of true-blue poor families, but majority of them could hardly hurdle good grades in their subjects, unlike Arnel. These students also try the hardest to at least compensate the hard-earned allowances that their parents provide along with many a prayer for them to succeed in their chosen careers. There are some who are disillusioned that they are not well provided financially and try to earn a fast buck with the oldest profession of sexual services. Worse, in desperation, there are some that even go on elopements as an excuse of their educational failures and evade their parents’ ire. But these things are not the monopoly of poor students. The jeproks and the pampered lot are also victims to educational failures and subsequent loss of employment opportunities after school or being out-of-school, due to some reasons or another. What counts most for a student, in my belief, is how well was the individual raised with inspiration and good virtues during his pre-teen years, his present enthusiasm and dedication to absorb wisdom in school, his vision and resolve to improve his lot as a person and as an asset member, not a liability, of the community in the future. Hopefully, his preferred community to serve is dear old Pinas…

    1. my dad use to say”do it right or don’t do it at all and”second place is not good enough”(bless his soul) he really gave my 6 siblings and i lot of encouragement in life .

      1. Tita Lita,
        That’s quite a tall order! But that was during the time of harsh “strike the iron while still hot” or corporal punishment! I never say that (to be the first!) to my children, otherwise I may push them over to a point of that they would do something I would regret later if they cannot be on top, or first place. My wife and I encourage them to do their best as much as they can, but not to stretch out to their envelop that they may ‘crash out’! Our youngest is enrolled as scholar at Phil Science High School Main Campus at QC and has been consistently on the Director’s List. We are very proud and happy, so we visit her at least monthly to show our support and do some enhancements/reviews of her lessons especially Math and Science, the school’s main subjects.

        1. my father is from the old school and very militaristic.he used to be a cop for a very very long time…thank GOD my mom was there to balance things.congratulations .

  2. Yes, tita, and thank you! I still remember the “spare the rod and spoil the child” corporal punishment. I also have undergone such a thing during my childhood. I still could figure out traces of the whip marks my old man gave me when I gambled on playcards with my cousins, even though the wagers are just rubber bands. Such grim disciplinary measures are taboo today. Surely, parents today would never resort for a comeback on such strict disciplinary methods, no matter how weighty are their children’s offenses. Even apprehended criminals are protected from the mob these days. In my childhood, I saw how a robber was paraded in our place going to the munisipio with a tag “Mannanakawak!” hanging on his neck and being openly spitted/beaten/kicked by the public!!!

    1. my dad never laid his hands on us .he just looked at us and we knew the was like the sound of music he used his police whistle to gather us and he lectured and we listened.i get in trouble all the time with my big mouth.i talked back if i did not approved. and then he said “you will be a lawyer someday”and all my siblings were laughing.i did not become a lawyer but i still have my big mouth..and the conversation or lecture ended up okay and we were all at ease.

  3. Parental discipline to their kids is good only at a certain extent. Somehow the children must find a way to connect the continuity of parental guidance for themselves because the parents are not always at their side to impose positive discipline. I would think that parental upbringing and association to others early on are important factors that could influence the life of a person. I could still recall that my parents never checked my grades and association during my high school years because they have the confidence and trust on me. They never checked my semestral grades back in college and never asked my association too, even though I make barkadas with “mammartek boys” from Laoag City then. This is about self discipline and putting your best effort to pursue your ambition in life. I am very pragmatic for my parents hardships and sacrifices for sending us to college to get a descent education. My old folks never asked in return but I would thank them for the guidance and encouragement. They are happily retired now in San Diego and just celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary six years ago…reminded me that I need to visit them also, it has been a while…

    Child discipline in the states does not include physical contact and verbal abuse at a certain extent otherwise the police or the social services will be knocking at your door for an unscheduled visit. I do instill descipline to my daughters who are both in college now, and at the same time do the usual pep talks in the dining table whenever they come home to get their “baston”. I would always encourage them to compete because of the presence of other ethnicity in the states. They should be always smart and wise to pick and choose only those good traits from other cultures and other ethnic groups, they should always leave those bad ones outside the house.

    1. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is the motto of old, but not so old. I still experienced whipping by my Grade 1 teacher. She used either a stick or a metal ruler.

      My dad used belt, but he exercised free choice, so he’d let you choose which belt he would employ to hurt you with. My mom whipped me but once, and with a cloth hanger, when I did not go to church on a Sunday.

      I still meet my Grade One teacher once in a while. My dad is now old, a two-time stroke survivor. My mom still goes to church everyday, and I have not heard mass in the past two years.

      I do not blame my old folks, they were victims of their own cultural milieu. But, as a human rights educator, I try my best to help end the culture of violence in homes and schools perpetrated by elders in the name of discipline. My assessement? They were just impatient and lacked communication skills to get their message across.

  4. Oh, no! I don’t approve such strict disciplinary measures now and even during my late high school days when I have mustered enough guts to answer back to my parents in subtle way, surely not in shouting back mode. Even when I’ve had some drinking spree with my barkada at our apartment in Sampaloc during my college days, I justified my actions as socialization, anyhow I never drank to a point of throwing up. He brushed me aside and we talked. ‘It’s my own life’, I told my old man, ‘and I know what’s my limitation’. “It’s my money”, he snarls. ‘It’s mine now, pop, as my allowance which is your obligation as my father’, I answered back, ‘Anyway, I am within my budget’. What can he say more?

  5. first of all,i want to congratulate this intelligent man, kuya arnel. wow! i am speechless… anyway all i can say he was a great man, he know how to handle his life. he can get a gold medals and can be a cum laude. . i think he is a person we must look forward to be our inspiration in our studies. in his life as a student, he suffered but at last, he finished what he started with an honor.

  6. Money is a big part that is needed in education because we all know that money is always use in buying books and other materials that is needed in studying.Sometimes parents are stopping their children in studying because the lack of money but if you are dedicated studying you must do all the things that is needed for you to graduate there are scholarships given by our government but in order to have an scholarships you must have a high grades.Education is a key to success right?responsible and disciplined people san be cum laude..congratulations to arnel!!!!!keep it up….

  7. Truly money is a very big part in studying because we all know that it is being used in buying books and different materials needed in studying.So parents are stopping their children because the lack of money. Scholarships are being granted to those students who are really dedicated in their studies. Education is a key to success,discipline and being responsible student can be cum laude.congratulation to arnel keep it up

  8. This article shows that not all athletes are without brains which are somewhat true to some athlete scholars.
    His poverty did not prevent him to pursue his studies and his being working student did not affect his grades which made him a cum laude when he graduated.
    If all students would be like Arnel Domingo then our youths would really be the hopes of our motherland that can make this country great again.

  9. Poverty is not an excuse if somebody can not go to school.There are many ways so that we can go to school even if we dont have money.It is not about money,it is about the willingness so that someday if he finish his study he will now help his family.Like what this quotation says “education is the key to success”.And we can do that if we know how to discipline our self.And parents should be the first who will teach their children how to do it.So as early as possible they know what is the importance of it.

  10. athlete, cum laude., wow!!,., I wish isa dun ay ako.,, im into sport din ., pero pang intrams lang., syempre gusto ko ding maging cum laude.,pero mukhang malabo., despite sa wala siyang pangcollege may tumulong sa kanya., hindi lang sa may tumulong sakanya., dahil gusto talaga ni kuya arnel makatapos,. Sabi nga ni Mr. Kris Ablan “intelligent, quiet, and hard working,”,.,I hope that I would be successful as Kuya Arnel.,

    1. You can!!! Believe in your self, but believing is not that enough, You need to do your part – your actions must match your dreams. Do not be afraid of failures. Those will make your victory sweet. Importantly, talk to Him and let Him be the One Who will lead you, not you alone.

  11. He’s one of a kind.. I mean, despite his difficulties in life, financial, he did not give up in the journey.. Instead, he strived harder not only for his own but for his family.. He never quitted, so he deserve what he has now.. It’s good that he never forget about studying.. Now that he graduated, and even attained a high rank, he’ll now be able to continue reaching his dreams.. It’s good that there are people who believed in him and helped him to reach higher..

  12. Tunay ngang walang imposible sa taong nagsusumikap,napatunayan yan ni kuya arnel.
    Bukod sa paghakot ng maraming medalya sa palakasan,nagawa din nyang makatapos,at higit pang naka mamangha ang pagtanggap nya ng parangal na maging isng cum laude,
    Isa siyang tunay na modelo para sa ating mga estudyante na dapat nating tularan.:-)

  13. Its a story that really inspires and touched my heart. I’ve already heard such stories like this and i will not be surprise if there are still many more to be publish. Poverty is not really a hindrance to achieve our goals yet its an instrument for us to strive more to make it in our chosen careers. It’s a instrument and a lesson for us that having nothing while studying will make us the guts to strive and strive until we succeed.

  14. As usual, poverty is the main reason why sometimes, most of the youth can’t afford to continue their studies because of financial matters. Some would just go with the flow and stop while others find ways just to continue their studies. If a person really wants to study, there are many ways to which he can be able to earn money. Nothing’s impossible if a person really wants to a study and reaches his goal as long as he is determined too, given the knowledge and talent on certain aspects (like singing, dancing) would help him. Thus, DETERMINATION, PERSEVERANCE, and CONCENTRATION is all we need.

  15. You’re such an inspiration kuya. I’m thinking of how hard the trials in your life and yet you pass all of those. Truly those quitters never win. You stand in your own feet and even have a responsibility in your family. And also go to collage in your own be an athlete and even cum laude. Thumbs up for that kuya..Congrats.

  16. this article is nice because i was inspired. there are a lot of children who cannot afford entering college. but this person leads his way to make it. his smart and talented. this will inspire students to pursue their dreams and good motives. maybe in the end they will be the same like arnel.

  17. “pag gusto may paraan, pag away may dahilan”
    Talagang gusto niyang may marating ang kanyang buhay kaya siya nasusumikap.Lahat naman tayo kung gusto talaga makapag-aral kahit anong marangal na paraan gagawin makapag-aral lang. kaya nga maswerte may mga pera na mag aral dahil marami ang gusting mag aral pero walang pera. Kaya sa mga tao o studyante, mag-aral mabuti para sa magandang kinabukasan.

  18. Sana lahat ng tao, lalo na ang mga estudyante gaya ko ay mabasa nila ito. Ang buhay ni Arnel ay nagsisilbing inspirasyon sa mga kabataan at estudyante. Siya ang nagpatotoo sa kasabihang “Ang kahirapan ay hindi hadlang tungo sa magandang kinabukasan”. Dapat lahat tayo ay magsikap at pagbutihin ang pag aaral natin upang makamit ang tagumpay at maranasan ang marangyang buhay. Lahat ng bagay ay may paraan na magagawa. Nasa atin kuung paano ito gawin. Gustong gusto ko talaga ang naging buhay ni Arnel, nakakainspire.

  19. another yet greater mission came to me,,being a teacher now, i hope i can produce individuals who can be more than who i am then,,,thanks for all the inspirations. Actually, i just read this comments posted here and i was really moved. yes, i’m li’l bit flattered, but more that i feel afraid. I don’t know why but I really really hope, with God’s will, i can fulfill my Responsibilities now.

  20. Mr. Edilberto Acidillo is not Arnel’s high school teacher, he is the former head teacher of our school Bagbago Elementary School 🙂
    anyways, arnel deserves such recognition..i saw his hardships even his mom since their elementary days..

  21. Wow, bow to you sir! I read everything and was inspired from your story. I hope that u inspire the other youths today who consumed most of their time at the computer shop or with a bottle of beer in their hands. Looks also can be deceiving, ur big and I cant imagine that ur a gold medalist athlete… That`s why in basketball and in our Palarong Guro you are really focused and serious of winning the game… Now, Im a fan here! Hi Idol! Hehehe…

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daytoy ti bunga ti rimkuas nga iliw ken abrasa dagiti lagip iti selsel met la a nagtaudanna...

Herdy Yumul

Blogger/Columnist/Book Author


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