Ilocos Norte’s Cabugon cousins bound for 32nd SEA Games

Published on: May 05, 2023By Angelyn A. Ligsay, Student Intern

Carla Joy Cabugon, 15 years old; John Carl Cabugon, 16 years old; and Charmaine Mae Cabugon, 19 years old, from Brgy. Nagbacalan, Paoay, Ilocos Norte, who are members of the Dragonboat National Team will compete in the 32nd South East Asian Games in Cambodia this May 5 to 17.

In 2017, the Cabugon cousins joined the national team after being scouted by one of the coaches of the team. They now compete in dragon boat races, traditional boat races, and solo events in both local and international competitions.

"I was 8 years old when one of the coaches asked us if I wanted to go to Manila and be part of the national team. I accepted the offer and eventually realized that I wanted to become an athlete," Charmaine Cabugon said.

Meanwhile, according to Carla Joy Cabugon, the youngest among them, being a member of the national team is challenging, especially since she is still studying. She added that being far away from her family is difficult, but due to the help and guidance of their teammates, they have adjusted to it.

Charmaine Cabugon and John Carl Cabugon already won silver medals in the Johor International Canoe Championship 2023 at Johor Bahru, Malaysia, which was their first international competition. Meanwhile, Carla Joy Cabugon participated in the Asia Pacific Sprint Cup 2022 which was held in Japan.

All of them are currently studying at Paoay Lake National High School. They are attending their classes virtually while doing their training in Taytay, Rizal.

The Cabugon cousins gave advice to aspiring athletes in the province, saying:

"They should always remember that the most important thing as an athlete is to have discipline in all aspects of life, to be humble all the time, and make sure to put God first in everything that you do."