March 5, 2024

The chair of the one of the most decorated mixed martial arts teams in the world has been appointed regional governor of the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas for Northern Luzon.
SKP President and Sen. Francis Tolentino and SKP Secretary General Wharton Chan have informed Team Lakay chair Mark Sangiao of his new designation in a letter on Jan. 12.
“Your appointment as such is due to your well-known skills, experience, and knowledge in the field of kickboxing as well as for your high dignity and familiarity with the community around your jurisdiction,” reads Sangiao’s letter of appointment.
“This appointment will serve as the trust imposed upon you by this federation to facilitate an effective thrust of promoting the sports throughout the country,” the letter reads further.
The 40-year-old Sangiao has reportedly accepted his appointment.
Sangiao’s excellent reputation as a combat sports coach was brought to the fore when three of his wards – Jerry Olsim, Jean Claude Saclag, and Gina Iniong – won gold apiece in kickboxing in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.
Before the 2019 SEAG, members of the Philippine Kickboxing Team came up to the north to train under Sangiao and held trainings in Baguio and Benguet.
Sangiao has also mentored some of the world-class Filipino wushu athletes who shifted to MMA in recent years.
The proud son of Kapangan, Benguet started his passion for combat sports at age 16 when he began training in kickboxing in 1995 then transitioned to taekwondo in 1998 before he made it to the wushu varsity team of the University of the Cordilleras.
He joined the Philippine Wushu Team in 2001 and won gold medal in the SEAG that same year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 
He became champion in the Universal Reality Combat Championship, the oldest and longest running MMA promotion in Southeast Asia. – Harley F. Palangchao