By JAN CARLO ANOLIN
CALATAGAN, Batangas – With the gold medal in sight for the country, Rep. Mikee Romero had one more important reason to represent the Philippine polo team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“I dedicate it to my son Miguel who should have been playing here,” Romero told reporters before the inauguration of the Bamboo Pavillon inside the vast Miguel Romero Polo Field here.
Miguel passed away last Dec. 14, 2017. He was 22.
Romero recalled how Miguel used to play polo at the same field that will host the 0-2 goal events of SEA Games.
After all, the venue itself was named in memory of him.
“Ngayon, he’s still part of the SEA Games because the whole field is named [after] sa kanya – in his memory,” Romero said.
Romero, one of the national team’s spearheads, sustained a spine injury after falling from his horse during training in Argentina recently.
Romero said he was not able to walk for two days straight after the accident and had to endure lower back pains while preparing for the Games.
Crippling in pain on the ground, Romero recalled how a horse ran over him and inflicted damage on his left rib.
But after a week of six-hour therapy daily, Romero did not waste time and continued with conditioning and horse riding routines.
“Kahit ‘di ako makalakad [nang maayos], kailangan kong maglaro kasi once in a lifetime lang ang SEA Games.”
Completing the Philippine team are Coco Garcia, Nicole Eusebio, Jam Eusebio, Santi Juban, Antonio Veloso, coach Alexander Anthony Garcia – and Miguel in spirit.
The Nationals will make the most out of the home-field advantage against Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia when the 0-2 goals event kicks off on Dec. 3.