PALARONG Pambansa 2023 quadruple gold medalist Paolo Miguel Labanon is gearing up for the city-wide swimming tryouts to secure a spot in the Batang Pinoy Games national championships-bound Davao City swimming team.

The Batang Pinoy Games is set for December 17 to 22, 2023, in Metro Manila.

Labanon, a 17-year-old STEM Grade 11 student at Mapua Malayan Colleges Mindanao (MCM), shared in a Facebook interview, "It is quite challenging since I have to wake up early in the morning for training and then head to school afterward."

After his remarkable performance at the Palaro 2023, where he clinched four individual gold medals, one individual bronze, and contributed to one relay bronze, Labanon is now setting his sights on delivering another impressive performance at the upcoming Batang Pinoy Games.

"Even though it's hard, I try my best to balance my training and studies," Labanon said.

Recently, he received cash incentives from the Department of Education (DepEd) Davao City in a commendation ceremony held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel, with Mayor Sebastian "Baste" Duterte as the keynote speaker.

Labanon was awarded a total of P80,000 (P15,000 for each of the four gold medals and P10,000 for each of the two bronzes). 

Additionally, he received over P100,000 from DepEd Davao region during his time in Marikina City, which hosted the Palaro.

The former Stella Maris Academy of Davao (SMAD) student expressed his excitement at sharing the stage with the mayor, who acknowledged his remarkable achievements. DepEd regional director Allan Farnazo invited him to the stage and introduced him to Mayor Duterte. MLSA