Scavenger Learns Muay Thai to Get Paid Php150 Per Match, Now Captain of National Team

A poor kid from Iloilo who had to go through trash bins to have money for food, Philip Delarmino’s life changed after learning Muay Thai. He’s now the captain of the Philippines’ Muay Thai Men’s Team and has represented the country in several international competitions held in other countries.

Philip was still a small kid when his dad got sick and would later go blind. Because his father drove a pedicab, the young boy also tried to do that to help his father, but the job was much harder for a young kid to do. Thus, he became a scavenger to assist the family in finding some money for food.

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As he grew older, he would be drawn to Muay Thai. He and his elder brother used to watch the bouts held at their hometown but because they had no money, they could not approach the coaches for training.

Instead, the boys watched the athletes intently and would practice at home, copying the moves they had seen. Without formal training, the boys would soon join the local Muay Thai scene as underdogs during fiestas.

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Because the players are paid Php150 for joining, even if they lose the match, the boys found Muay Thai even more appealing. Winners get Php500 – and that became a huge motivation for the poor brothers.

Photo credit: ABS-CBN News / YouTube

Winning the national Muay Thai competition at the age of 16, Philip was sent to represent the country in international competitions. It was in 2013 that he won silver in the SEA Games in Myanmar. Then, he would replicate the feat at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017.

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He is among the hopefuls who would aim for the gold in the upcoming 2019 SEA Games to be held in the Philippines starting on November 30.

A poor scavenger who didn’t have formal training in Muay Thai when he entered the sport, who would have thought that Philip would become a champion? Congratulations and good luck on your upcoming games. Go for the gold!

Check out his story here:

Source: ABS-CBN News