BAGUIO CITY — Some 27 Cordillera athletes will be feted on Sunday as the Baguio Museum continues to celebrate heroism with at least two shows that began during the celebration of the 121st Philippine Independence Day on Wednesday.
Fast-rising artist Gladys Laciste-Labsan will feature during the “Portrait: Heroes & Legends” art exhibit the modern-day heroes of the Cordillera region who carry flag and country in international competitions.
Jeordan Dominguez, the first Filipino to win a medal in the World Taekwondo Grand Prix last June 7, and former world wushu sanda champion Divine Wally will lead athletes, active and retired, in the event that will also serve as a tribute to the late sportsman Narciso Padilla.
Padilla was a newsman who was camp director of “Gintong Alay”, a sports training program in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that produced some of the country’s iconic athletes, among them Lydia de Vega, Guido del Prado, Elma Muros, swimmer and former Philippine Sports Commission chair Eric Buhain, Mountain Province native Hector Begeo (athletics), and javelin thrower Erlinda Lavandia.
Padilla died of cardiac arrest last March 3 at the age of 87. He was able to stage the TALA and Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Achievement Podium on December 30 last year, the culmination of his 46-year-old month-long “Silahis ng Pasko program”.
Meanwhile, Dominguez has already arrived from his Rome, Italy campaign, while Wally promised to take a respite from her training in Manila to attend the opening.
“I’ll be taking a break to attend the ceremony,” Wally’s message said.
Wushu Taolu’s Daniel Parantac, Thornton Sayan and Jones Inso are also honorees on Sunday’s “Portrait”, along with retired wushu players Karizha Chan and Natasha Laxamana and former world junior champion Ken Omengan, who opted to pursue his studies in architecture.
Another former wushu player on Sunday’s “Portrait” is Marianne Mariano, one of the first locals to win an Olympic medal, a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games.
Sunday’s exhibit will also see the wushu sanda roots of top mixed martial artists, such as Mark Sangiao (1999 Southeast Asian Games gold), Eduard Folayang (three SEAG golds), and Geje Eustaquio, as well as Kevin Belingon, reigning Brave FC king Stephen Loman, ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio and Danny Kingad.
The 67-year-old Lavandia will be the oldest honoree as she leads four other athletics greats, such as Christabel Martes (marathon), Katherine Khay Santos (long jump), and long-distance runners and tri-athletes Sandi Abahan and JT Gonzales.
Other honorees are Kareel Hongitan (archery), MaJoy Baron (volleyball), Alice Kate Aparri (boxing), golfers Mars Pucay (pro) and Luigi Paolo Wong (amateur).
Hongitan, a bronze medalist in the last SEAG, has advanced into the last 32 of the Individual’s Recurve at the World Archery Championships in S-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.
The show will also have the works of Joseph Domirez Jr. that include professional cager Douglas Kramer, father-and-son racing tandem Carlos and Inigo Anton and Team Lakay. Pigeon Lobien / PNA – northboundasia.com