For his love of Tacloban | Tempo Sports

For his love of Tacloban


NAY PYI TAW – Southeast Asian Games karate gold medallist Ramon Antonio Franco was in Iran when Typhoon Yolanda destroyed much of Eastern Visayas, including his hometown in Tacloban, Leyte.

Franco said he felt helpless, worried about the life and safety of his parents and three siblings.

“Hindi ko sila makontak. Araw-araw, binubuksan ko Facebook. Baka sakali may masagap ako balita,” said Franco, a 28-year-old full-time athlete.

Franco said he managed to block off his anxiety during training, but he couldn’t help but worry every time he retires to his bed at night.

He had seen and read so much destruction that he was tempted to leave training camp and get the first flight out of Iran.

After two weeks, Franco said he received a text message saying his parents and siblings were safe.

“Ang laking pasasalamat ko ng malaman kong ligtas sila,” he said.

Franco said they were lucky that their house withstood the destructive winds of Yolanda.

“Nalubog lang ang bahay dahil sa storm surge. Pero buo po ‘yung bahay,” he narrated.

Franco said he sent his fiancée, Stephanie Ugaras, to Tacloban when things started to normalize.

Ugaras, who works as an insurance agent in Bacolod City, took a flight to Cebu City, then to Tacloban.

He said he and his GF have been together for seven years now and are thinking of tying the knot next year.

Since his arrival from Iran, Franco said he has not visited their home in Tacloban.

“One week lang kasi kami sa Manila bago lumipad patungo dito,” he said. “Pagbalik ko, punta ako sa Tacloban.”

He said the calamity caused by Yolanda served as a motivation for him to win the gold medal.

“Lahat ng galit ko sa Yolanda, binuhos ko sa laban,” said Franco who was set to return to action in the men’s team kumite event later in the day.

“Tawag nga sa amin eh, Typhoon Team,” he said before excusing himself.

You may also want to read...

  • Pasay run for a causePasay run for a cause (0)
    The City of Pasay celebrates its 150th founding anniversary by holding a run for a cause […]
  • Romualdez bags crownRomualdez bags crown (0)
    Jerome Romualdez closed out his tennis campaign this season with a bang, winning the […]
  • Four down, one to go for Negros betFour down, one to go for Negros bet (0)
    Alexis Soqueno of Negros Occidental snared the fourth of his target of five gold medal […]
  • Maasin hosts ABAP tiltMaasin hosts ABAP tilt (0)
    Despite the very short notice, the 2014 PLDT-ABAP Visayas Area Amateur Boxing tournament […]
  • Media 9-ball tourneyMedia 9-ball tourney (0)
    The Camp Olivas PNP Press Corps (COPPS) will hold its first National Media 9 Ball […]