by Deliza Maye Fernandez

   The story of Filipino BMX cyclist Daniel Caluag was laid through his relatives in Bulacan.

            Daniel Patrick Manabat Caluag was born on January 15, 1987. His father Danny Caluag is a respiratory therapist in Bulacan who migrated in Guam at an early age and relocated and settled with his wife in California. His mother, Isabelita Caluag is from Nueva Ecija who is now a head nurse in one of the hospital in Southern California.

            Daniel Caluag grew up in the United States. At the age of 8 or 9, he put his self to cycling when his father taught him how to bike. As he got older and better at that sport, he began competing in major competitions in United States and started to dream of entering the Olympic Team. He won his first professional titles in 2007 and ranked number 9 in US elite standings. Despite of that, he failed to qualify in the Olympic.

            The rejections never made him surrender. Instead, he accepted it as a challenge and thought of himself driving his life on a rocky road. He find his way to achieve his dream by shifting his sights to the Philippines through earning enough points in three tough qualifying tournaments including the Union Cycliste Internationale BMX World Championship in Birmingham United Kingdom to get a spot on a National team. And because he was not able to use the training equipment in USA, he opted to do his training in Netherlands to maintain his condition.

With a Filipino Heart

            In spite of being unable to speak Tagalog, Daniel Caluag shows his Filipino side as his relatives in Bulacan laid it out.

            In one of his interviews on television, he reveals his favorite Filipino food like Kare-kare and Adobo.

            Daniel Caluag was not the only one who’s inclined to sports. His younger brother, Christopher John Caluag is also a cyclist and as a matter of fact, he almost joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) but he failed to fix his papers according to his cousin Marcelita Caluag, a board member in Santisima, Trinidad.

            Meanwhile, his another cousin who is said to be the closest among his other relatives, Casey Jay Caluag, 25, a former UAAP Basketball player of FEU, told his thoughts and experiences with Daniel Caluag whom they preferred to call as Patrick.

“We grew up together,” said Casey Jay. Just like any other childhood bestfriends, they also have been there.

“When we were kids, I only see him during holidays. We usually just ran around and played just like most kids did. Eat.. and just get in to troubles," he added.

            Daniel Caluag went to the Philippines last November in Tagaytay for ASEAN.Though he seldom visits the country he never fails to bond with his relatives.

Pinakadating lang nila dito kapag may namamatay na kamag-anak,” said Marcelita Caluag.

            Daniel Caluag’s cousins are so proud for his never-give-up attitude for making it to the London Olympics. For them, being able to enter the Olympics is an honor or probably a victory enough to be proud of.

'Yong masama pa lang sa Olympics, malaking karangalan na.. na Pilipino ang delegasyon natin sa Olympics,” said Marcelita. According to them, they may be thousand miles away from London to show their support but they assured to back-up through prayers.

            On every road he takes, his coach Jason Richardson, a former BMX Champion; his wife, Stephanie Barragan, also a BMX cyclist and his father, Danny Caluag are there to support.

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