22-year-old Vergilio “Maton” Silvano had recently achieved a major boxing accomplishment in his young career.
For boxing fans nationwide, Silvano’s reign as the Philippine Boxing Federation Light Flyweight national champion is considered to be a minor achievement as boxing followers give more recognition to world champions, such as what was achieved by last October 6’s special guest and Silvano’s stable mate and sparring partner, current IBF Light Flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero.
Contrary on how boxing fans outside Cebu might consider Silvano’s feat, the entire town of Dalaguete has definitely no reason of not being proud of him. His achievement can be transcribed in future history books of the town.
Born and raised in a vegetable-rich and progressive barangay of Mantalongon, Silvano started boxing in 2004 who at that time, a 14-year-old first year high school student of Mantalongon National High School. In 2005, he joined training with LGU-run Dalaguete Boxing Gym which was established in year 2002 by then and current municipal mayor of Dalaguete, Ronald Allan G. Cesante. One daily routine of its trainees was having a 13-km run from Poblacion to Mantalongon starting at 5:00 in the morning and even lengthen its route to three more barangays when in preparation for a boxing fight such as Cebu Provincial Meet boxing tournament.
The boxing gym, housed inside the Dalaguete Sports and Cultural Center, was built to give chance to aspiring young boxers to develop their skills at an early age without having to go to boxing gyms in the city. Mayor Cesante that time ventured on investing on sports programs other than basketball as the town was not blessed with tall players which is a major factor for a basketball player to play in collegiate leagues of Cebu. Thus, he tried the sport of boxing for this does not need anyone to be tall.
Silvano’s greatest achievement in the sport during his high school days was a Silver Medal finish during 2004’s Provincial Sports Meet. He had then honed his skills and experience in boxing and became successful in amateur fights in Dalaguete and neighbouring towns with the aid of his coaches and moral advisers, Belmer Entera and Robert Ceniza, both DepEd teachers of Mantalongon, that made him a disciplined, determined, and a good person as well.
No one could have thought that after an LGU-run boxing gym was established, a boxer that started training there could be a champion, a national champion at least.
Like other boxers, Silvano has also stories of hope and determination to share. He tried his luck in professional boxing when he was a graduating high school student. Having no enough preparations going to his first professional fights, he suffered two defeats out of his first three bouts. Disappointed with the results, he let his professional license be cancelled and went back to amateur boxing.
After graduating from high school in 2008, he temporarily stopped from boxing and worked in a production company in Mandaue City for two months.
Realizing his passion in life, he then returned in the ring doing amateur fights in Dalaguete and neighboring municipalities.
With the help of his coaches and an SB member of the town who has close relatives in International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IPI), Silvano was able to enter the company-run Omega Boxing Gym in 2009.
As a policy of the boxing gym, before being accepted, Silvano’ was first tested if his skills were good enough to convince them.
In September 2009, Silvano went up fighting again professional fights after securing a license. With discipline, motivation, and prayers complementing his skills, he was unbeaten in 16 games including his latest PBF Light Flyweight title defense victory.