The newest kid on the San Marcelino block is a fast-rising wushu star
There’s a new kid at Adamson and she’s not your typical new student.
Her name is Mariane Mariano and she’s just transferred to the College of Education, taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in MAPEH. If her major tells anything, it’s that she’s an athlete at heart.
She’s not just an athlete, though. Mariane plays wushu, an Asian martial art (Chinese, in particular), and she’s been racking up one medal after the other ever since learning the sport in 2005. Her most recent achievements include a silver medal in sanshou at the 1st Asian Martial Arts Tournament in Thailand last August and a bronze in the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in July. She is also a member of the Philippine national team.
What’s also amazing about her run into becoming a wushu champ is her fast transition from junior competitions to senior events in just four years. In 2005 at the age of 16, she began the rounds of tournaments with the Asian Junior Championships in Singapore, where she garnered a bronze medal. More competitions followed, both local and overseas, before she finally competed in senior events at age 18. Her senior stints included the World Championships in Beijing (a qualifying event for the 2008 Olympics, where wushu was an exhibition sport) and the 2007 Southeast Asian Games, where she won her first gold medal. Mariane was also able to win bronze in the Olympics.
For those who are clueless, sanshou is a division of wushu along with tao lu. What’s the difference between the two? Sanshou is the more combative form, combining kickboxing with wrestling, while tao lu is more artful as it is the stylized fighting routine, requiring choreography between two fighters portraying a fight scene. Mariane likens sanshou to Jackie Chan’s very physical moves, tao lu to Jet Li’s arms-and-sticks fighting. She chose to concentrate on the former as she deems more practical the skills she learns in it than in the latter.
Mariane discovered wushu through a friend while still studying in Baguio. She eventually moved to Adamson as a scholar of Alumni Association president Julian Camacho, who is also secretary general of Wushu Federation Philippines. Her move to Adamson proved to be providential as it allows her to continue training without missing any of her schoolwork. She has also tried other sports, including athletics, volleyball, and judo (where she also won an event), but it was in wushu that she found her niche. Although an ACL injury and surgery sidetracked her after the Olympics, Mariane is back on the game. She is currently preparing for other international events and the Southeast Asian Games in Laos in December.
What’s the secret for her winning ways? For her, it’s faith in God, in one’s self, hope, trust, and discipline that makes her successful. She says she’s also been blessed and lucky for having won so many events in such a short span of time. But hard work also made her win, especially when it was time for her to train in China where a slap on her head awakened her to what kept her from going the distance.
Her smiling eyes belie the grit she shows in her competitions and her studies. Mariane is definitely one to watch out for, as she seems to be destined to knock off more medals in the future. - Yael Esperat