Overcoming his seemingly paradoxical phobia of heights, parkour athlete Jolo Marcelo refuses to live life limited by his fears. A self-confessed geek who’s into anime, action movies and video games, he believes anyone can do parkour with the right training.

What compels you to turn the city into a giant playground?

Parkour has a saying Être fort pour être utile, which is French for “Be strong to be useful”. We train to be ready for any kind of environment or situation, to be as efficient as we can by overcoming obstacles, mentally and physically. I can’t express enough of the joy of making lines, landing a new trick, and mostly exploring the limits of our capabilities. As the gamer in me would say, let’s conquer some dungeons!

What’s unique about Manila when it comes to freerunning?

Manila’s still developing its infrastructure and has a lot of potential, but what we have is our people. There’s no community like ours. Having traveled quite a bit outside of the Philippines, I learned that parkour people in general are one of the kindest bunch there is, but Filipinos are even more so! I have seen people welcome complete strangers to their homes, me included with the only thing we have in common that is the love for the movement! Nothing hits home like Manila does.


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