The Philippine pencak silat team bagged two medals and two special awards in the 17th Pencak Silat World Championships on Thursday in Bali, Indonesia.
Juanillio Ballesta won a silver medal in Class H 80-85 kgs. category while Princesslyn Enopia bagged a bronze in Class A 45-50 kgs. event.
“It was a tough game. I was about to give up but I really pushed myself until the end for my family and for our country,” the 30-year-old Ballesta told The Manila Times on Friday.
Ballesta of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo lost to a veteran Vietnamese pesilat (silat practitioner) in the gold medal match after suffering a right knee injury.
“I cannot even use my right knee that time. I prayed to God to help me and let His will be done,” added Ballesta, a mainstay of the national team for five years now and an active member of the Philippine Coast Guard.
Meanwhile, Enopia described her match against another Vietnamese as challenging and beautiful.
“I was challenged to show or bring out the best in me. And I think that’s an important thing,” said the 18-year-old Enopia of Dumaguete City.
Enopia, a sophomore Education student at the Rizal Technological University said she was surprised to face a new opponent after the Vietnamese squad opted to change its lineup.
“Their player was tall and I was just small but I did not think of it as a disadvantage. I converted that to a way to beat her,” she said.
Enopia said she wants to improve for bigger competitions next year.
Enopia was a product of Philippine National Games and Batang Pinoy. She was also a silver medalist in the 2015 Asian Beach Games in Da Nang, Vietnam.
“They all have the potential to be the next Olympian. We just need to focus and train them properly in order for us to achieve our goal,” said national coach Nerlyn Huinda.
The other Filipino bets that received special awards during the meet were April Joy Mahusay and April Joy Alarcon in the women’s sine (artistic) category. Alfau Jan Abad and Abdul Naseef were cited for their unique performances.
Pencak silat is a martial art, which employs both empty hands and weapon techniques executed in a graceful dance-like manner.
The International Pencak Silat Federation and the Pengerus Besar Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia organized the tournament.