Wushu’s Omengan, boxers Gabutan and Tam win Athlete of the Year award

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By Nars Padilla

Kafagway Roundup

Saturday, January 12, 2013


IT’S SHOWTIME once again for our Baguio-CAR sports luminaries who individually and collectively kept our sporting flame warm and radiant for Year 2012. The podium for the historic event is the 26th Kafagway Sports Achievers Award Program, set at the Malcolm Square on January 19, this month, sponsored by the National Correspondents Club of Baguio (NCCB). A core of at least 30 international and national sportsfest held overseas and in the country including outstanding sports leaders and sports oriented organizations will be the centerpiece of the recognition ceremonies. Curtains go up at 9 a.m. with former Congressman and sportsman Edgar M. Avila as the guest of honor speaker. The former youth representative to the House of Congress is the founder of the Annual EMA Golf Tournament, a popular golfest in the city.

Teenage wushu-taulo internationalist Alieson Ken Omengan, the brand new Chinese martial arts Filipino sensation and blooming Igorot boxers Dayer Gabutan and Alvin Tam share top honors as “Athlete of the Year 2012” Awardees. Omengan, a high school student in La Trinidad, Benguet showcased his prowess and agility in winning the gold medal in the Nangun B event for 12-15 years old and the silver medal in the Nanguan class at the 4th World Wushu Junior Championships held in Macau two months ago. He and seven other teammates culled from the Wushu Federation of the Philippines, Cordillera Administrative Region headed by its president Tony Candelaria were in the WFP National team to the sportsfest. A cast of at least 30 countries from all over the world saw action in the championships dominated by athletes from the Peoples Republic of China (PROC). The superb performance of the PHL team including the silver medal finish of taulo artist Faith Leana Andaya, in no small, measure made us Cordillerans proud. In the same vein, it gave our flag and people and Philippine sports honor, dignity, pride and glory.

Bontoc ringster Gabutan is the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental Bantamweight Champion. He successfully defended his crown for the fifth consecutive time against challenger Dado Cabintoy. On the other hand, Tam is the newly crowned WBC Asia Council Continental Featherweight titlist after a KO wins over JR Edurot in their December rumble for the vacant division champion’s slot.

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The other athlete-honorees are Faith Leana Andaya as wushu player of the year, FIDE Philippine national junior chess champion Maridas Pascua; Hernanie Sore and Katyrine Santos, athletics; Maricris Igam, women’s amateur boxing; Kareel Meer Mongitan, archery; Fred Puckeet, golf; Crisantino Pitpitunge, mixed martial arts; Cindy Benitez, volleyball; superbike racer Ramille Resvillo and marathoner Marcelo Bautista. They represent the cream of the crop in their respective sport events.

Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan will receive the sports visionary plum for his sustained leadership and vision for the on-going construction and development of the province sports complex located at Wangal, La Trinidad Municipality. Certificates of commendation will also be presented to the outstanding 2012 sports leaders for their highly meritorious loyalty in the propagation and growth of sports in the city and other parts of the region. The awardees are U.B. Athletic Director and BBEAL coordinator Eduardo Laureano, Coaches John Mongitan and Arnold Oglayong, sportsman Vlademir Cayabas of the Cordillera Higher Education Sports Athletic association and professional boxing promoter Brico Santig.

Special citation will be given to businessman Jasper Lao as sports patron of the year while the Benguet Electric Co. (Beneco) gets the sports patron of the decade award. The team of the year plum goes to the Wushu Federation of the Philippines-CAR headed by its president Tony Candelaria. The professional team of the year award handily award to Team Lakay URCC warriors under the leadership of Marius Sangyao. The First Kennon Marathon Run staged in the city last April was chosen as the international sports event of the year.

Special awards will be presented to the veterans’ car racing ace Carlos Anton and senior citizen athletics superstar retired PNP Chief Inspector Erlinda Lavandia who at age 62 continues to reap honor for the Philippines in several international track and field tournaments for the 40 years old and above.

Of course token of recognition will also be given to a group of media practitioners for providing our athletes, sportsmen and various sports organizations the widest publicity possible. Media from any angle is an integral part of the sports scenario in any given time and place. The tri-media personalities from print, broadcast and television are certainly our partners in the sporting endeavor. The media Kafagway Sports awardees are Pegion Lobien, associate editor of Cordillera Today and editor of the True Color Sports Magazine which inaugural issue hit the streets recently; together with the magazine’s co-editor Roderick Osis, ace sports writer of Sun Star Baguio, the leading and only daily newspaper in Northern Luzon where yours truly is a regular weekend issue columnist. In the same manner, newsman Primo Agatep will also receive a token of appreciation for serving as the liaison officer and organizer of the technical requirements of the Kennon Global Marathon Run under the apices of the Kennon Global Marathon Run, Inc. with sportsman-mediaman Junep Ocampo at the helm. The other awardees are Harley Palanchao, a staff member of the Baguio Midland Courier and photo journalist Richard Balonglong of TCS magazine. As of press time, the award presenters are Dr. Lenny Brawner, Philippine Archery Association president, Pete Mendoza, executive director of the Philippine Volleyball Association, Dr. Ricardo Balajadia and U.S. Navy retiree Joseph Catacutan.

Join us in our prayers and mabuhay wishes honoring the awardees.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 12, 2013.

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