When dreams are overshadowed by obstacles, don’t stop, just move on and keep reaching your dreams.
Gilbert “Kiwi” Paylado Jr. a 17 year old boy from Tagum City. Who was known as a “pulot boy” once dreamt of playing tennis commercially. Finally, his hard work paid off. During the 1st AGR Tennis Tournament held at the Davao del Norte Sports Tourism Complex, Kiwi had a chance of playing in the said tournament, although he only landed in 3rd place, but because of his standout play in the court, he caught the attention and admiration of First District Congressman Anthony del Rosario.
Because of his admiration for Kiwi’s passion for playing tennis, the representative endorsed Babolat, a famous French tennis, badminton, and squash equipment company, for sponsorship of strings and tennis racquets used by popular players all over the world. Upon receiving the endorsement, Babolat Manila Coordinator Archie Pangilinan willingly approved the endorsement from the congressman. He immediately sent a tennis racket, as a sign that the company had chosen Paylado as their commercial player.
Kiwi got oriented with tennis when he was seven years old. He used to go to a tennis court in Brgy. Magugpo Poblacion, Tagum City, just nearby to where he and his family lived. He was there not to play, but to earn money through tennis ball-picking (puulot boy). According to him, in a day he would be able to take home at least 80 Php which is enough to buy rice. Eventually he started loving the sports, at the age of 8 he started playing lawn tennis for Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School (MPCES). When he was starting, he used to play using round-shaped plywood as his racket. He does not have of shoes, and he even played barefooted at times. The Members of Tagum City Lawn Tennis Club Inc. recognized Kiwi’s potential to excel in the game and donated shoes and rackets to him. He was a representative for (DavRAA) representing his school MPCES during his sixth grade and in his first two years in high school in Tagum City National High School.
Unfortunately, he had to stop studying to take care of his father who got very ill, and eventually died on November 10, 2014 due to tuberculosis meningitis. Despite of his lost, he never stopped dreaming, “Ana ko ka papa na muhuman jud kog eskwela ug magpadayon sa tennis basig mao diay ni akong swerte (I vowed to my father that I would finish my studies and continue playing tennis; it might be my fortune),” Kiwi said.
When he was asked about the life lesson he learned from his experience, he said “Dili ta mo-surrender sa mga problema. Dapat go lang nang go (We should not surrender to the problems. Just go on). “
Currently, Kiwi is enrolled in the alternative learning system (ALS) program, pursuing his vow to his father and his dream to finish his studies. While studying, he is also helping his mother and cousins in their septic tank cleaning and pumping business. During the weekends he would play tennis with his teammates in Tagum City Lawn Tennis Club.
Image credit : Charlene Luna @ MulatPinoy.ph