Netizens celebrated the victory of chess prodigy Bince Rafael Operiano at the 6th Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship that was held in Thailand.
While netizens and the government were praising Bince, many were not aware of the hardships that he experienced before flying to Thailand to compete with 20 other players from different countries.
In a Facebook post, Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Cabredo revealed that Bince, who’s just nine years old, was forced to sleep for three days at Ninoy Aquino International Airport because of uncertainties about his plane ticket.
And when the ticket arrived, Bince traveled alone to Thailand and spent the first day of the competition without his father.
“Due to limited funds and while waiting for the plane ticket sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Bince and his father spent three nights at the airport with those benches as their bed,” Cabredo said.”The little boy had to travel first to Thailand without his father, Mr. Ben Operiano,” he added.
The lack of guardian affected his performance during his first day in Thailand because he was not used to traveling without his father.
Fortunately, his father arrived on the second day, and his confidence returned, defeating other participants.
In an interview, Mr. Operiano shared that he decided to stop working to guide his son’s career, but at the same time, they’re also having difficulties because of a lack of funds.
Mr. Operiano shared that he’s actively searching for sponsors to fund the dream of Bince.
“Kahit na mahirap tayo, alagan naman na [porket] wala tayong pang-suporta ay susuko na tayo.” Mr. Operiano said.
“Pakapalan na lang ng mukha, kakapalan na lamang natin ang mukha natin para masuportahan lamang po natin ang ating mga anak na may pangarap sa buhay,” he added.
Philippine Sports Commission didn’t explain why it took three days for them to give the ticket to Bince and why they didn’t shoulder the accommodation of the chess prodigy while waiting at NAIA.