Everyone knows that the favorite pastime or sport to most Filipinos would have to be basketball (men) and volleyball (women), which seems to form the backbone of the country’s lineage of sports.
But sometimes there are some individuals who opt to go a different path such as this particular Cebuano athlete who fell in love with football at a very young age. First, he played just for fun but as he further learned the ropes of the world’s most popular sport, he learned to love it together with great dedication and high level of competitiveness. The bedrock by which he laid the foundation of his career has propelled him to become one of Cebu’s brightest soccer stars today.
The story does not only begin and end there to what looks to be a colorful storyline of rising Cebuano football player Valentino “Val” B. Calvo. Calvo, who idolizes Argentine superstar Lionel Messi because of the way he plays and the good attitude he is showing. From playing for fun to playing wisely he has honed his determination to do the best he can in every game. Learning to accept more responsibilities and to be humble when winning and to accept defeat when losing. Most importantly, he has gained immense discipline and maintained a positive attitude in football.
The 17-year-old Calvo jacked up his know-how of playing soccer when he joined a summer clinic at his beloved alma mater, the Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC), a decade ago and it did not take long for him to excel in his field. Back in 2009, Calvo clinched back-to-back MVP trophies during the Baguio Victory Cup and the Mizuno Football Cup. His biggest achievement bay far is winning the Most Outstanding Athlete (MOA) award during last year’s National Milo Little Olympics.
As he strives for excellence, Calvo said his parents are his main driving force specially his ever-supportive mother Malu. Calvo’s impressive credential and experience gleaned on his 10-year stint with Don Bosco landed him a spot at the prestigious Ateneo de Manila University varsity team
, becoming the second Bosconian in the lineup after Jico Noel. Calvo said being a footballer has transformed him into a person of good moral values and character. Likewise, it is through soccer that he appreciated much the true essence of sportsmanship.
In times when fouls are committed, a show of good sportsmanship such as helping the opponent get up and offer an apology to them. Same goes when the opponents are the ones committing fouls, cooler heads should prevail along with patience.
Though he works hard to reach his ultimate dream of making it to the Philippine Team and represent the country in international competitions someday, Calvo always put premium on his studies being his top priority.
The drive is definitely there to improve and to be a better athlete. That has always been his aim with the goal to be part of the national team but he has not lost track of also finishing his studies, which is at the top of his priorities. Calvo is currently taking up Bachelor of Science in Management Information System at Ateneo.
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