The Muaythai Association of the Philippines (MAP) where Igorots served as coaches was chosen as this year’s recipient of the prestigious IFMA Federation of the Year 2021 during ceremonies in Thailand last week.
MAP, led by Gen. Lucas Managuelod, bested 146 other member federations worldwide with Muay Thai national squad head coach Billy Alumno receiving the plaque during gala night on Dec. 11 at the Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok.
MAP was recognized for its continuous efforts and programs in developing and growing the sport despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a private message of IFMA General Secretary, Stephan Fox, to MAP Secretary-General Pearl Managuelod he said: “You should be so proud of what you have accomplished. You did so well. Philippines cleaned up and your work is really showing and bearing fruits in all departments – combat, waikru, virtual”.
Along with Alumno, national assistant Edzel Ngina has been on the sidelines nurturing younger members of the national squad, who are also training in Benguet and Baguio City during this pandemic.
Some of their wards are from the Cordillera, who won medals in international tournaments, including the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Alumno and Ngina guided Ariel Lee Lampacan of Itogon and Jenelyn Olsim of Bokod won gold in Muaythai in the 2019 SEA Games. Lampacan was also gold medalist in the IFMA Amateur World Championship held in Cancun, Mexico in 2018.
His youngest ward from the north is Islay Erika Bomogao of Baguio, who won silver in the 2019 SEA Games. – Harley F. Palangchao