Photo by Kevin Prudon
Graduating student Julian Mariano “Ian” Clarino of the University of the Philippines Men’s Football Team ends his collegiate career on a high note.
His team won the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 championship against the University of Santo Tomas. Ian was also chosen as the Best Defender and Most Valuable Player.
The achievements were bittersweet since Ian’s connections to UST run deep. His brother Gino is a member of the UST Men’s Football Team. Many in his immediate family are Tomasians, and Ian, himself, studied at the España-based university when he was in high school. “Inalagaan ako sa UST. Tinulungan nila ako sa scholarship. Kaya ayoko talagang mag-celebrate,” Ian admitted after the match.
On a lighter note, Ian said that his family of Tomasians will probably continue ribbing him and his brother and fellow UPMFT team mate Miggy for “snatching” the championship from their beloved school. “UST pride sila,” Ian explained. “Asaran kami sa bahay.”
All in all, the season that just finished has given UPMFT’s team captain life lessons that he is going to carry to the next phase of his football career (The professional league is already calling!) Here are some of Ian’s realizations:
Be grateful. Ian expressed thanks to God, the University of the Philippines community and to his inspiration, former teammate Rogie Maglinas who passed away due to cancer during UAAP Season 78. Ian also made sure to thank those people who worked behind the scenes. “Pati sa mga nag-oorganize ng mga practice namin,” he said.
Strive to be better. The UPMFT was unbeaten throughout Season 80. Doing so was not intentional, said Ian. In fact, they were not so conscious of the winning streak. “’Di namin masyado pinansin ‘yon. Mas pinansin namin kung paano kami mag-i-improve,” he said.
It’s always about the team. Ian learned from his coaches to put the needs of the team before one’s own. “Ang pinaka-takeaway ko ay ang pagiging selfless, dahil ‘yung mga coach namin, hindi nila iniisip ang sarili nila…. Kaya kapag bad mood ang team, ina-uplift ko ang team.” Ian is pleased that his efforts have somehow produced fruit. “Proud ako sa team mates ko. E-exit ako knowing na sa next season, ibibigay nila ang kanilang best.”
UPMFT’s Head Coach Anto Gonzales has only good words for his Ian whom he describes as “selfless” and “a nice guy.” Coach Anto said, “The championship is a fitting culmination to Ian’s hard work.”