Evangelista, water polo coach, wears second hat with great effect
From being the ring leader of the “Pandesal Boys,” Dale Evangelista now finds himself literally distributing bread—and much more.
The burly assistant coach of the Southeast Asian Games silver medal-winning Philippine water polo team is also the chief official of Barangay 56 in Tondo in Manila.
And in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hardest part of his job is explaining to people that the resources—hard to come by as it is—have to be allotted equally to all of the barangay’s residents.
“I post on Facebook that the first batch of relief goods came from my friends who donated,” Evangelista said. “But there are more coming from the city government. We all just have to be patient.”
The past few days he was riding a kariton (makeshift cart) to do his rounds because his gout was flaring up.
“But it’s all worth it, we are here to provide help to the people. In these trying times, we need to walk the extra mile,” Evangelista added.
He ran for city councilor last year under the banner of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. But despite his powerful advocacy of heath, nutrition and sports, he wasn’t successful.
Yet luck turned in his favor when later in the year, the Philippine water polo team hit the spotlight after bagging the silver in the SEA Games.
A longtime national team member himself, Evangelista helps head coach Rey Galang in running the affairs of the team. They gained even more popularity after their pictures in scanty trunks were flashed on newspapers and online, revealing gorgeous abs to earn the name Pandesal Boys. “As for our national team, they are all at home observing quarantine,” Evangelista said. “We told them to be healthy and fit by doing strength training routine and basic fundamentals.”There’s a world of difference in running a barangay and the national team, he acknowledged.
Unlike in the national team where discipline is enforced, Evangelista said he gives out “extra warmth and understanding” to get his barangay constituents to follow the enhanced community quarantine rules.
“Being a national coach and a barangay captain is hard,” Evangelista said. “But I love playing both roles.”
And that’s what is important. INQ
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