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ABA Arnel
Sport Para swimming, Para Triathlon
NPC Philippines   
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
S9, SB8, SM9
Further Personal Information
One Daughter
Iligan, PHI
Athlete, Coach
English, Filipino
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began Para swimming in 2004.
Why this sport?
He made several suicide attempts after his accident, one of which was stepping in front of a truck. The driver, Cecil Meqiabas, happened to be a swimming instructor and persuaded him to take up swimming, offering the resort he owned as a base to train. "He taught me how to swim. I kept training each morning until I learned how to stay afloat."
General Interest
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I am doing this to show to the abled ones who look at us, the disabled, as useless. I would like to show that we can do some of what they can do. I also want to encourage the other disabled to not be shy and just show off whatever talents they have." (, 25 Jul 2014)
Other sports
He has competed in triathlons at elite level. (, 01 Jan 2017)
He lost his right leg in a traffic accident in 2004. He was examining his vehicle's engine on the side of the road when a drunk driver drove into him. (, 01 Jan 2014;, 03 May 2013)
Other information
He runs his own swimming coaching business. (Facebook profile, 15 Feb 2019; Facebook page, 11 Feb 2016;, 21 Oct 2013)

Prior to the loss of his leg, he admits that he did not lead a law-abiding life, having been involved with gangs, petty crime, and drug addiction. "We used to rob people, do hold-ups, snatch and steal. I did not think it was bad at the time. I was just looking for money to buy drugs. [After the accident] I could not accept that I lost my foot at first, and I tried suicide. Swimming was a huge help in turning my life around. Swimming became my goal because I had nothing else to do with my life." (, 03 Aug 2012;, 08 Jul 2012;, 21 Oct 2013)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Asian Para Games - Para swimming
Rank Year Event Result
5 2018 200m Individual Medley SM9 3:01.47
14 2018 100m Freestyle S9 1:10.42
6 2018 400m Freestyle S9 5:21.32
11 2018 100m Backstroke S9 1:22.74
14 2018 50m Freestyle S9 32.04