Text by: Anton Onato
Photos by: Ian Carlo Estares, TNP Resident Photographer
(Editor’s note: This story is included in the second print issue of TNP for Editorial Year 2014-2015.)
MANILA – Living a fast lane life can be both rewarding and hectic, but when you enjoy running, covering distance with enormous speeds is a breeze of fresh air.
Jose Maria Carlos Camagay, a track and field athlete of the State University, knows how to handle all strands of the fast lane life with grace. Despite the twice-a-day training sessions for team members during weekdays, one can still expect a topnotch performer on other aspects of his life.
Camagay, or Macky to his friends, maintains a Latin honors standing in his last year in BS Psychology program while representing our university in the decathlon event for the past UAAP seasons. Camagay got a grip of juggling these things through time, thanks to his UP basic education background that exposed him to the wonders of athletics while keeping an exemplary academic performance.
“I was actually into soccer back in elementary, but UPIS doesn’t have it. So in high school, I started as a Pep Squad drummer. At first, I just tried Track in Field so I can have endurance so I can play soccer in college,” Camagay said.
As it turned out, Camagay excelled well despite the versatility demands of the sport.
“The event normally runs for two days. The event I play in demands to be good not only in running but also in other things like high and long jumps, discus and javelin throws. You need to perform well at all these to take home points for the team, and if you’re really good, a podium finish,” the track and field athlete remarked.
According to the athlete, the team was on its best shape last year as they snatched a podium finish. However, chance of getting higher ground was possible if the team had better bonding.
“Since UP does not have the facilities to cover all the track and field events, we normally practice in groups, so cliques are built instead of fostering team camaraderie,” Camagay said.
As for the funding of their training program and participation in sports events, UP covers the basics but an association of the athletes’ parents exist to support other needs of the team.
“We have teammates that are not economically well-off or originally from provinces, so we make it a team effort to fill in the needed support so that we can focus in excelling with our sport,” the athlete said.
As for the future, Camagay sees a degree from the UP College of Medicine as the finish line. “I try to perform well in my academics, sport and organizational affiliations so that I have better chances of getting in to UP Med School,” he said.
Living a fast lane life like his seems to be an everyday struggle, but with passion, determination and a steady finish line, everything is definitely within running distance.
Photos by Ian Carlo Estares