RENOWNED city athletes were recognized during the 28th Kafagway Sports Achievers Awards held January 18 at the Justice George Malcolm Square.
Organized in partnership with the National Correspondents Club of Baguio, City Social Welfare Development Office and the city government, some 30 prominent sports personalities were awarded for topping their respective fields.
“Kafagway Sports Awards exists mainly for recognizing people who deserve to be valued, specifically the people who always bring our city to the world map with their respective achievements,” said Kafagway Sports Awards committee chairman Nars Padilla.
Padilla emphasized on giving moral support to each of the individuals who dedicate themselves to sports development.
“They (the government) should recognize the difficulty each athlete with their coaches and trainers undergo for the entirety of sports development here in the Philippines, they are not doing this just to compensate themselves but also to develop our country’s pride,” said Padilla.
“With the on-going lack of support pagdating sa sports, sino na ang magbibigay ng recognition sa efforts ng bawat isa,” he added.
The roster of awardees was led by the Philippine wushu team of Baguio where they were given honor as the “Team of the Year”, with members Benjie Rivera receiving the most coveted “Athlete of the Decade” together with Daniel Parantac awarded as the “Athlete of the Year”.
Rivera won the gold medal in the 2013 World Wushu Competition in Malaysia, while Parantac pocketed his own mint after winning in the taiju quan event in the recent 27th SEAG in Myanmar.
Parantac together with his teammate John Keithley Chan also acquired a silver medal in the taijian quilian sword event.
Other awardees in the wushu-taulu Baguio-CAR internationalists are sanda silver medallist Divine Wally, duilian team bronze medalist Kariza Kris Chan and Natasha Enriquez, junior players Alison Ken Omengan, Faith Liana Andaya and Vanessa Chan.
Marcelo Bautista, a second time awardee, was conferred the “Ultra Marathon Runner of the Year” award with Rex Wa-o winning the “Boxer of the Year” honors.
Multi-titlist chess master Heridas Pascua of the University of Baguio, Fil-am golf parbusters Fred Puckeet and mixed martial arts ace Kevin Belingon were also in the honor roll.
Team Lakay head coach Marquez Sangiao was recognized as the “Sportsman of the Decade”, including 27th SEAG Team Philippine members silver medalist Helen Dawa, Greco-Roman wrestling silver medalist Jason Balaba, and women’s boxing division bronze medalist Maricris Igam together with Arniel Ferrera, who won a bronze medal in the hammer-throw event in athletics.
The Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc. headed by former honorary consul Carlos Teraoka of the Japanese Embassy in Manila was cited as Sports of the Year 2013. Car racing champion Carlos Anton and senior citizen javelin thrower Erlinda Lavandia were also cited in the occasion.
The different local media outfits were also recognized for their invaluable support to the sporting community.