Former national boxer flies home tonight in a coffin

FARE THEE WELL. Olympics hopeful Nesthy Petecio (right) in one of the last photos with former Philippine boxing team member Alexcel Dargantes who died last February and her body to be flown to General Santos tonight for the last rites. The death of the 25 year old Dargantes was a big blow for Petecio who sought for help in bringing the body of her dead friend back home for the funeral. Photo from the Facebook page of Nesthy Petecio

The former member of the Philippine Boxing team who died before Valentines Day is expected to fly home tonight in a casket with the Association of Boxing Alliances the Philippines shouldering the travel expenses.

In a video message Monday, Olympics hopeful Nesthy Petecio thanked the ABAP for its effort to bring one of its former fighters home after spending the past four nights at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes here.

Alexcel Dargantes died last February 13 and efforts to bring home her body was a concern for many of her friends and schoolmates at the University of Baguio including athletes – present and former.

“Maiuuwi na rin ang bangkay niya mamayang gabi sa kanila (Her body will be brought to her hometown tonight),” said former national boxing coach Boy Catolico, who also coached at UB.

“Napakalungkot talaga ang nangyari sa kaniya (It’s really sad to what happened to her),” added Catolico who trained Dargantes during her stint with the national team from 2013 until 2017.

“Nagsumipag makatapos at talagang walang wala sila at wala naman siyang mauuwian sa General Santos at malayo siya sa tatay nya (She strove hard to finish her studies since they have nothing and she has nobody to go home to in General Santos since she is estranged with her father),” narrated Catolico of the 25 year old Dargantes.

Catolico said that she took up a two year course at the Tourism and Hotel department of UB.

Then she went to work as a bar crew at one of the local bars here frequented by many college students. He said that Dergantes has opted to stay in Baguio.

When the pandemic came and Baguio was placed under hard lockdown, she was forced out of work for several months. When the bar opened late last year, she has already quit and found work in another establishment, added Catolico.

Catolico sought help for paying the former boxer’s funeral expenses. They were able to get help from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and some of her former teammates sent money like former RP boxer and three time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Alice Kate Aparri, who now works in the United States.

Catolico said that they will be able to pay the funeral home, ferry the former boxer’s body to Manila and then it to be flown back to General Santos City, which has been shouldered by the ABAP.

Former UB cager Cheryl Magno, sister of Tokyo bound boxer Irish, said that the local government unit of General Santos City will be helping also in the funeral services, once the body of Dargantes arrives there.

“ABAP ang tumulong at tutulong pa ang General Santos pagdating doon (ABAP helped out and General Santos [local government] will be helping once her body arrives there),” added Magno, who also trained as a boxer with the goal of joining her sister before shifting to basketball where she became one of the city’s top female dribblers.

“Paulit ulit akong nagpapasalamat sa pamilya ng ABAP, kay sir Ricky Vargas at sir Ed Picson sa kanilang tulong at sa mga taong tumulong sa kaniya kahit pangit ang paguwi niya at ganun naman po kasi ang nangyari (I will repeatedly say my thanks to the ABAP family, to sir Rocky Vargas and sir Ed Picson, and to all the people who helped her although she will go home in such a way),” Petecio in a video posted on Facebook Tuesday, Dargantes’ last night at the funeral home.

She said that the last time Dargantes went home was 13 years ago when her mother died. Now she comes home also in a coffin.

She added that even some of her teammates are giving financial aid which they will send once the body of her best friend arrives in General Santos.

Petecio was the hardest hit when news of Dargantes’ death arrived Sunday. Petecio said that with every punch she made during training, a tear flows down.

Petecio on her posts said that she promised that she will make it to the Olympics and will come to Baguio immediately to have coffee with her best friend.

“You know I will share everything with you, my clothes, except my undergarments, so you will look good. People even mistake that you are me or my twin,” she said in a mix of Tagalog and Bisaya on her post.

They even dreamt of putting up a gym with Dargantes as the manager.



  • Charmaine Joy De Guzman says:

    Too sad…

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