by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

There are no boundaries when it comes to building dreams. Once dawned on by passion and determination, nothing can hinder a person from reaching those hopes. The same goes with John Michael Panelo. 

Foundation of a Passion 

                     Just a small town boy from Matimbo, Malolos Bulacan, 19-year old John Michael Panelo, a second year Sports Science student in Bulacan State University started his passion in football when he was still an elementary student in General Isidoro Torres Memorial Elementary School. It was in the year 2004, during his sixth grade, when he was recruited by his teacher to try playing Football. Panelo then became fascinated with the sport.

                     As soon as he realized he enjoys playing the sport, he became determined to join actual competitions. In the school year 2004-2005, Panelo had his first match in the City Meet held in Malolos, where his team was hailed as the champion, making its way to the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA). Unfortunately, the team had not been rewarded any place in the regionals.

                      “'Yong sa City Meet ng Malolos nag-champion kami kaya kami pinalad na makalaro sa regionals, pero hindi kami nakakuha ng kahit anong place sa CLRAA,” said Panelo.

                      For some reasons, Panelo’s pleasurable experiences in football had to stop. When he stepped in high school, Panelo had to quit playing the sport for his parents wanted him to focus on his studies. He then followed what his parents desired, and spent his high school years in Calumpit National Highschool, concentrating on his studies. But transferring in Marcelo H. del Pilar National Highschool to finish high school turned into a chance for Panelo to return his attention in football, little by little.

                        “Ayaw na muna ko paglaruin [ng football] ng mga magulang ko noong hayskul ako. Dapat daw mas pagtuunan ko ng pansin ‘yong pag-aaral ko. Bale ‘nong nag-aaral pa ako sa Calumpit hindi talaga ako naglalaro,” Panelo said.

                      After years of not getting involved into a real football game, Panelo finally got back to the sport. That was when he entered college life in the grounds of Bulacan State University. He admits that he lost his fervor in the sport, but still pursued to join the BSU Football Team, because of the benefits he might receive if he will become an athlete of the university. Eventually, Panelo became a part of the university’s football team. Through that, he receives scholarship and allowances, which help him in supporting his studies financially. Later on, his desire for the sport was recaptured which kept him eager and enthusiastic in playing football.

                   "Sumali ako sa football team ng BSU kasi alam kong ito ‘yong best way na makatutulong sa pag-aaral ko. Nakakakuha ako ng scholarship at nakakatanggap ngallowances. Tapos ayon, minahal ko na ulit ‘tong isport na ‘to,” Panelo said.

Stepping Stone 


                          As a member of the Bulacan State University Football Team, Panelo had shown his interest and seriousness in the field. He, together with his teammates, had joined several competitions, on behalf of the university. These competitions consist of the SCUAA III, Philippine Airforce Football Cup, Phinex Cup and Don Bosco Football cup in the year 2011. More opportunities in playing football matches emerged in the year 2012 as the football team competed at SUC’s Olympics Nationals and Xiang Li Football Cup.

                           Having entered Bulacan State University has truly made Panelo one of the flag raisers of the university. He is beyond doubt very much thankful and proud to be part of the team, which has proven its outstanding performances in the field of football in SUC’s III Olympics that hailed the team champion for four consecutive years; and gained places in the SCUAA Nationals as well as in local football tournament in Central Luzon.

                          Panelo’s career in football evolved in college. Before, he was simply a delegate behind the banner of BSU. At this time, he, as well as his football colleagues in the university, has been playing football on behalf of the entire Bulacan province. Just recently, the Bulacan State University Football Team strives to make its way to the top. With its new name Futbulakenyos Football Club, consisting of BulSU students and alumni, the team compete with other football clubs in Tarlac, Pampanga and Olongapo in the Central Luzon Football League (CLFL). Panelo, as the midfielder and right winger of the Bulacan-based football club, has a share on effort why the team has been declared as the first champion of the league. 

Ultimate Dream 

                           As a student-athlete, time management, hard work and determination have been Panelo’s groundwork to be able to attain balance between academics and sports.

                             “Tuwing weekdays nag-aaral ako. Pagkatapos ng klase ko, training naman haharapin ko. Pati weekends may training din kami,” he said. 

                            Starting in elementary, stopping in high school, and picking up in college, Panelo shares that his football dream will live on. The major reason why he took the course Sports Science is because he would like to familiarize himself more in the field of football. When asked what his aspirations are, he declares he want to pursue the career he started in football, and become a national football player someday. He also desires to be a football coach in the future.

                         “Napakalaking bagay na sa akin ‘yong makalaro ako sa nationals. Pangarap ko ‘yon. Then, kaya ko kinuha ‘yong course na Sports Science para mas matuto pa at gusto ko rin sana maging coach ng football balang araw,” said Panelo.  
 
 


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