Nathaniel T. Malaki: Dreamer, student, champ athlete-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
NATHANIEL Torcuator Malaki is a dreamer. He dreams big. What every Filipino athlete aspires for is what he wants to achieve. Win that elusive first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines.
Bringing home the boys 90 kilogram gold from the 2012 Batang Pinoy Games national judo finals held at the Marikina River Center last month may just be the first step of fulfilling such noble ambition.
The third-year High School student at the Philippine Women's College is only 15. A brilliant athletic career surely awaits him.
Natnat was born to parents Montano and Ruperta, retired government employee and teacher, respectively.
The five-foot-six ace enrolled in the judo/jiu jitsu class of Sensei Paolo Tancontian in 2009 to keep him away from playing computer games.
His brother lawyer Racky Malaki encouraged him to take the sport being a first Dan black belt himself.
He tested his mettle on that same year by joining the Paolo Tancontian Judo Tournament at the Holiday Gym and nailed the championship in his category.
Natnat then pushed his luck in the Mindanao for Peace Judo Tournament in Cagayan de Oro City but failed to take home a medal, saying, "I played in the juniors 18 to 20 division and I was only 14 then."
He later collected local and regional titles since then in both judo and Brazilian jiu jitsu but bagging the Batang Pinoy gold was his biggest achievement so far as an athlete.
"I'm very happy and I gained self-confidence by winning a Batang Pinoy national gold," he said.
He, however, shared that being a student-athlete is no easy feat. He needs to be disciplined with his time.
He shared, "Academics is the priority. Sports is secondary in all aspects of time management. My sports help me greatly to have self-confidence in coping with my lessons."
Natnat does weight training at home and visits the Holiday Gym and Spa four times a week to hone his judo and jiu jitsu skills. He wakes up as early as 6 a.m. during schooldays and does weight training at home before he answers his homework and study his lessons.
He thanked his family for being supportive of his studies and his sports, adding that he wants to give his best in both worlds because he wants his family to be proud of him.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 28, 2012.