March 27, 2023

Athletes from the Cordillera have won at least six gold, 12 silver, and 12 bronze medals in the recently-concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam to power the Philippines to fourth place overall in the medal tally.

These athletes are not necessarily born in the Cordillera, as some of adopted the region as their second home or were duly-accredited by the local government units in their roster of official athletes.

The latest medal haul came from boxing and vovinam where boxers Eumir Marcial won gold, Irish Magno settled for silver, while Nesthy Petecio and Josie Gabuco won bronze medal apiece.

Carlo Von Bumina-ang gallantly defeated his Vietnamese opponent in their own martial arts to win silver medal in vovinam in his first out-of-country competition.

Zephania Ngaya, who traces her roots to Barlig, Mountain Province, did not win a gold medal but she stood tall for beco-ming the only Filipino athlete to win two medals in two different disciplines – a silver in kickboxing low kick and a bronze medal in vovinam.

The Team Lakay standout just rested for a week after competing in kickboxing before she joined fellow members of the vovinam national squad in their first appearance in the event that originated from host country Vietnam.

Former Muay Thai national team member Jenelyn Olsim also won bronze medal in vovinam.

Veteran campaigner Ariel Lee Lampacan settled for bronze medal, this time in Muay Thai.

Jones Llabres Inso snatched a silver medal in wushu’s taulo-tajiquan and another bronze medal in taolu while SEAG multiple medalist Divine Wally and Gideon Fred Padua won bronze medal apiece in wushu sanda.

Other medalists who were not mentioned in previous reports were kurash silver medalist Charmea Quelino and bronze medalist Estie Gay Liwanen.

Overall, the Phi-lippines won 52 gold, 70 silver, and 104 bronze medals while Vietnam emerged the overall champion with 201-121-115 medal haul. – Harley F. Palangchao