TAGUM CITY—For barefoot runner Joselyn Cayetano, burning up the track is her only way out of poverty.
The 16-year-old, who comes from an impoverished family in Concepcion, Iloilo, yesterday saw a glimmer of hope in her quest after collecting two gold medals in the Philippine National Youth Games-Batang Pinoy Championships.
“I want to get a scholarship in college, finish my education and help my family,” said Cayetano in Filipino, Grade 9 at Loong National High School.
Overcast skies at the Davao Del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex witnessed Cayetano’s feat in the girls’ 3000-m run with an 11-minute, 6.67-second performance that bested Bohol’s Rosemarie Espana (11:47.11) and Marjorie Canaleja of Leyte (12:18.64).
Since her father died in a motorcycle accident in 2012, Cayetano and her four siblings had to make ends meet with their mother, who does laundry work in the neighborhood once in a while. A brother also puts food on the table by delivering fish at the market.
“I just hope my efforts here will get noticed,” said Cayetano, who also won the girls’ 1500-m run on Monday and will be seeking a third gold in today’s 4x400m relay.
In the swimming pool, Maenard Batnag of Baguio City and Christian Paul Anor of Banganga, Davao Oriental, both pocketed three gold medals to join Cebu’s Moira Frances Erediano on the same stratum.