FACES OF CEBU: Arnold Balais, 45
“I was fourteen when I experienced the most tragic moment in my life. I met an accident while playing basketball. It’s very hard having to experience that at a young age. I lost my leg, but my Mom has always been there for me.
One time I asked her, “Nay, how did we survive this?” She told me that the most important things in life are not just physical things, and that it’s okay that I lost my leg because I am still here. I am still capable of living out more of what life has to offer.
Since I grew up in a province, my exposure to sports made me an athletic person. I’m a former para-athlete and competed in various tournaments until I decided to retire in 2018. That was when I found out about the dragon boat. It was very challenging because it’s a team sport. I can say that my inspiration in all these is my Nanay.
I always think not to dwell in the past and relieve the moments when I didn’t have any disabilities yet, when I still had my other leg, because it is when I feel down. Instead, I think of what I have now and live with what I have. Focus on my strengths and then whatever weaknesses I have, I just improve it.”