This ‘Filipino’ archer shoots for Canada


Crispin Dueñas

LONDON – There’s a second Filipino competing in the men’s division of the archery competitions in the 30th Olympic Games here, but, while he’s proud of his heritage, he cannot represent the Philippines.

Crispin Dueñas is a 26-year old physics major who represents the land of his birth, Canada, although his parents are pure-blooded Filipinos. Born and raised in Toronto, Dueñas would have wanted to represent the Philippines in international competitions, including the Olympics, but the Canadian archery federation, which had nurtured his career since he was 14, won’t let him go.

“They (the archery association) asked me to join the Philippine team a few years back, but Team Canada didn’t want to give me up,” Dueñas said after ranking eighth in the men’s ranking round of the archery competitions at the Lord’s Cricket Grounds here Friday.

He will face Egypt’s Ahmed El-Nemr in the men’s round of 32 on Monday.

The official Filipino in the men’s draw, Mark Javier, ranked 55th and will have the daunting task of having to meet a formidable opponent, the 10th ranked American champion, Brady Ellison, on Monday.

In the women’s draw, Rachelle Anne Cabral finished the ranking round in 48th place and will face Russia’s 17th-ranked Inna Stepanova in the knockout phase of the competition on Tuesday.

The rankings almost matched Javier and Dueñas in the round of 32. They missed a match-up by only two places in the rankings.

Crispin is the only child of Roland and Elena Dueñas of Malabon and Manila, who migrated to Canada before Crispin was born 26 years ago. Roland is a recently retired IT expert based in Toronto and Elena, also retired, had worked for a logistics company.

Held a few hours before the opening ceremonies here Friday night, the ranking round determined the pairings for the first round of the knockout matches of the competition.

Dueñas, his sun-burnt face betraying the amount of training he had logged in the heat of the North American summer, appeared confident, not only of going through the first round but also of winning the gold.

“If I shoot really, really well, I’m gonna win,” he said. Winning, however, means having the necessary mental strength and getting past the three South Koreans who swept the first three places in the ranking round. So dominating were the three Koreans that they broke their own world record for 216 arrows with 2087 points.

Dueñas’ confidence comes from his previous performances, including a second place finish in the World Cup in the Dominican Republic in 2010.

Dueñas, who is studying physics at the University of Toronto and dreams of becoming a physics teacher, is undaunted by the Koreans’ early show of force.

“I know the Koreans are better than me. But hey, they’re human,”Dueñas said.

Dueñas would have wanted to compete internationally as a Filipino, but Canada has staked its claim on the Filipino.

Joan McDonald, his coach since he was 14, said Dueñas is “absolutely” proud of his Filipino heritage and would be delighted to visit the Philippines someday.

“She’s been to five Olympics as a coach, so she knows the game in and out,” Dueñas said of his coach.

Dueñas said he’s “lusting” for two more Olympics and hopes to have a career afterwards as a high school teacher.

Meantime, he trains twice a day, six days a week. He supplements that regimen with three gym workouts a week for his cardio exercises and “to make sure my overall strength is maintained”’ and works at “being strong enough in the head.”

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  • MaySenseBa

    “his sun-burnt face betraying the amount of training”  Doesn’t his sun-burn face support the idea of the amount of training his puts in? 

    If his face were fair, then that would betray the amount of time spent out in the sun training, right?

  • Italpino

    To avoid the embarrassment of the country of having many sports talents playing for other countries where they were born and trained, and not for the country of their origin as well as not winning medals in the international sports arena like the Olympic games or simply the Asian games, the country should invest more on grass-root level sports development. This can be done by providing more sports facilities, sports clinics, sports scholarships and plenty of sports competition at different age brackets starting at the very young age. Moreover the country should invest more on the types of sports where we have a much better probabilities of winning during these international competitions. The country should develop athletes and players that will be invited by foreign sports club to play for them. This will not only improve their own skills, but will also allow them to get acquianted with more international players and learning their expertise and expose them as well to more international competitons. Many players in international football, volleyball, and basketball play for other countries and then they represent their respective countries during international sports competition. It’s just like exporting our players with talents so that they can improve further and then represent the country with a better probability of winning. Then what they can learn outside the country can also be used to teach other promising local talents in the future. Most of all, investing on sports program especially for the youth will help avoid wasting their life in drugs or getting involved in criminalities.

  • shane oy

    wag angkinin ang di na atin. mahiya naman ng kahit konti lang. Di magandang ugali yan. Well, cguro signs yan na wala kasi talaga tayong matatawag na sariling atin kaya angkinin n lang natin yung nasa sa iba na. Are we short of talent ba talaga dito sa loob ng pinas? or di lang natin pinopromote talaga ang pagkakataon sa ibang tao na nasa labas ng elite society>? “Wala kasing available sa mga sikat ng pangalan kaya walang pede magrepresent sa bansa” parang ganun … yung mga slots sa ganyang okasyon ay “reserved” kaya heto tayo nang aangkin ng hindi na atin. tanggapin na ang katotohanan hindi na sya pinoy by citizeship hence ang allegiance nya doon, haist makipagtalo ka pa dual citizenship echos…. representing canada na nga eh. wag ka na umepal.

  • duviz7533

    at least this guy is proud of his ancestry compared sa mga politicians na naiboto pero may mga green cards may mga general din na may green card like carlos garcia,mali general kotong pala

  • batangx

    what do you mean you could not represent the philippines?!? Renounce your canadian citizenship and go back to the Phils. and definitely you can represent the Philippines. This is a canadian who is trying to say his filipino.

    • Canadian

      He was born and raised in Canada… His primary citizenship is that of Canada and ONLY Canada

      This is another filipino article trying to claim someone as their own when he really isn’t. It’s sad that the Philippine Archery Association is trying to steal talents of other countries since they can’t develop their own. Pathetic really!

      • Luthmar

        In Canada as well as in the USA, if a Filipino is born there they are automatically
        a citizen of that these countries.  However, his parents are both Filipinos and based on our constitution he is a Filipino as well.

        In Switzerland and perhaps there are other countries who have similar laws, if for example a Filipino is born here, the child does not automatically become Swiss. Here it is jus sanguini, not jus soli.  One must have a Swiss blood (from the mother especially or from the father). 

        Pls be careful of your statement.  There is nothing in this article that the Phil Archery Association is encouraging Duenas to join the Phil. team.  It’s Duenas
        who has expressed his desire to represent our country.  I think he still has a bit
        of patriotism in him and I admire him for that.  

    • Luthmar

      He does not have to renounce his Canadian citizenship.. Both Canada and the Phil.
      recognize dual citizenship.  However, it is only fair that his coach would not let go him.
      She has been training him since he was 14.  Canada has been spending lots of time and
      money training him.

      • Canadian

        Please reread:

        “They (the archery association) asked me to join the Philippine team a few years back, but Team Canada didn’t want to give me up,”

        It clearly states that the Philippines has unsuccessfully tried stealing him from the Canadians.

        The Philippines did not recognize dual citizenship 26 years ago meaning he is just a Canadian citizen and nothing else. Even with the dual citizenship law in effect, he still has to apply and pledge allegiance to the Philippines. I’m pretty certain that neither he nor his parents have done this. He’s 26 and has never been to the Philippines. Why would he want to become Filipino? LOL

      • Luthmar

        Is there a law that says one cannot ask a person to do something for its country of origin?  Granted the Phil Archery Association asked this guy to join them, he could only refuse; which he did.  He was not asked with a gun pointed to his head to join the Phil team, was he?  He could only say yes or no.  In which case he declined.  Why do you insist on calling it “stealing.”?

        My goodness, you must be a Filipino who became Canadian.  Perhaps, you did not mind turning your back to where you came from.  But pls. do not speak for somebody else.  Your question:  “why would he want to
        become a Filipino”?  And why not.  What is so wrong of becoming a Filipino again.

        His coach said:  “Duenas is very proud of his Phil. heritage.”  This says a lot about his wanting to compete for the Phil. 

        Are you proud of your heritage, whatever it is?

  • Diepor

    Good luck in the games , loved the opening seromony yesterday.

  • kismaytami

    Oh come on Mr. Engracia, stop calling these people ‘Filipino’. The word ‘Filipino’ is exclusive for Philippine citizens and its national language only.

  • Dennis

    hinay-hinay lang tayo. when someone with filipino descent/heritage, we always assumed that they are ‘ours’–pinoy yan… when it’s a common thing in that part of the world where it’s populace are born from a parents with an english descent or chinese or french, etc….

    the story should be an inspiration for us though….

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