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Dr. Manolo Gabriel

When boys his age were tinkering with toy cars and dismantling their toy robots, he was taking lessons in taekwondo. He was five years old. His passion for the sport did not diminish as he grew older, but instead, it got the better of him: he earned a blackbelt degree at age 22, became a national taekwondo instructor eventually becoming a tournament director and finally, the coach of the Philippine Team in 1990.

But this did not mean that life was all kicking and aiming at the opponent; Gabriel also buried his head in his medical books. In fact, he went to the University of Santo Tomas to earn two degrees: one in Physical Therapy, graduating in 1979, and another in Medicine which he finished in 1985.

Apparently, the man has donned his taekwondo blackbelt more than he did his white medical doctor's gown, because his romance with the sport did not diminish through the years; on the contrary, Gabriel got busier. He even went to Seoul, South Korea to take up the first Foreign Taekwondo Instructor Course, and became its first Filipino international instructor. As a result of this training, he is now authorized to conduct the Instructor Course.

His passion for the sport propelled him to teach taekwondo to the young. He has been teaching since 1980, and since then, he has taught in 11 schools: Don Bosco Makati, Don Bosco Mandaluyong, Lourdes School of Quezon City, St. Theresa's College, O.B. Montessori Greenhills, O.B. Montessori Sta. Ana, O.B. Montessori Dasmarinas Village, Makati, Aquinas School, Siena College of Quezon City, Assumption College, and St. John's Academy. He also taught at the Galleria de Magallanes. In 2005, Don Bosco Makati, his high school alma mater, recog¬nized his efforts for having taught taekwondo to their students for 25 years.

From his former students, he was able to produce topnotch taekwondo players which include national champions in the senior, juniors and grade school divisions; members of the Philippine Team who have won in international competi¬tions such as the world taekwondo championship in the USA, the SEA Games and the Asian taekwondo championship; college varsity scholars; and taekwondo instructors here and abroad.

In 2004 he was named Deputy Secretary General of the Philippine Taekwondo Association. Part of his duty is to manage and develop taekwondo program of Metro Manila, manage the Philippine team, and act as the Technical Chair of the 23rd SEA Games held recently in Manila.

Reference:

  • TOTAL Awards 2006 Souvenir Program
    17 February 2006, UST Central Seminary Gymnasium
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