SUBIC. — Fair-skinned and slight of built, Edmar Tacuel would hardly be mistaken as an athlete.
Tacuel, 20, found himself in the golden spotlight on Monday, winning the men’s seni tunggal (forms) event at the start of pencak silat action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Subic Bay Exhibition Center here.
The pride of Tubongan, Iloilo stood out with his grace and form, garnering 470 points to cop the gold in his memorable maiden appearance in the regional sports showcase.
Singapore’s Muhammad Iqbal bin Abdul Rahman settled for the silver with 461 points while Indonesian Dino Bima Sulistianto got the bronze with 461 points.
The sixth of seven children of a farmer and a housekeeper, Tacuel could not contain his glee in winning the gold medal.
“Happy ako na nakakuha ako ng gold medal,” he said. “Pinapasalamatan ko lahat ng coaches, teammates, mga taga Iloilo, salamat sa panalanagin ninyo, sa buong Pilipinas salamat lahat sa inyo.”
He said that his arnis training had helped him in his transition to pencak silat in 2012, adding that he was a pencak silat champion in the Batang Pinoy Nationals in Bacolod five years ago.
Asked what he would do with the P600,000 in total bonuses for his feat, Tacuel replied: “Tutulungan ko ang mga magulang ko na makabili ng sarili naming bahay.”