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Salute to other Bicolano olympians

By Nathan Sergio*

There were two other Bicolano Olympians aside from Naga City’s Benjamin Silva-Netto, the first Filipino Olympic marathoner, who was featured in last week’s issue of this newsweekly. These two are: CLARO PELLOSIS, of Minalabac, Camarines Sur and MIGUEL SOLANO WHITE, of Legazpi City, Albay.

Claro Pellosis was Silva-Netto’s mentor in running. He was a sprinter, unlike Silva-Netto who was a middle-distance and long-distance runner. He competed in the men’s 400 meters in the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy. Despite being more refuted in the 400 meters event, he however was part of the Philippine 4 x 100 Relay Team, which won gold at the 1962 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. He likewise competed in the 4 x 100 meters event in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

After his stint in running, he concentrated on training and coaching Filipino athletes. He became athletics instructor to students and a Physical Education teacher. Unknown to many, he helped Lydia de Vega win the women’s 100 meters at the 1986 Asian Games by assisting Tatang de Vega, Lydia’s father and coach.

Claro Pellosis is pretty much a Bicolano. He was born on November 28, 1934 in Minalabac, Camarines Sur. He died in Manila on July 21, 2019 due to cardiac arrest.

But before Olympians’ Pellosis and Silva-Netto, there was a Bicolano Olympian by the name of Miguel Solano White, who also represented the Philippines and won Bronze Medal in the 400 meters hurdle in the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, Germany.

Born on October 9, 1909 in Legazpi City to an American father and a Filipina mother, Miguel White died serving his beloved country on August 30, 1942. A World War II fatality, he was killed in action during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. He was only 32 years old, and a lieutenant assigned in the 51st Division of the Philippine Army under the US Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). Before WWII, he was a notable member of the defunct Philippine Scouts.

Nathan Sergio is both a cultural worker and a development worker. He served LGU-Naga City for 27 years. He was a three-term City Councilor (2007-2016)


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