June 2, 2023

Another wall of fame featuring the portraits of 28 athletes, most of them retired, and four sports leaders will soon be unveiled at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

Former national wushu-sanda players and bronze medalists in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Mariane Mariano and Benjie Rivera and former World Boxing Association junior welterweight 1962 champion Roberto Cruz will be among the faces to be painted on the walls of the long dugout.

Artist Gladys Labsan will come back to paint the faces of former two-time Southeast Asian Games marathon queen Christabel Martes; 2001 SEAG wushu-sanda and 2019 Muay thai waikru gold medalist Jearome Calica; three-time world karate champion Julian Chees, former Asian bodybuilding champion Samuel Ayochok, and bodybuilding legend Nicasio Domalsin, Sr.

Sports patrons and leaders to be included in the wall of fame are University of Baguio founder Fernando Bautista, Jr.; former Gintong Alay camp director and councilor Narciso Padilla; former Philippine Track and Field Association Cordillera director and Philippine Volleyball Federation president Pedro Mendoza; and Philippine Wushu Federation-Cordillera president Tony Candellaria, who is also the mentor of Mark Sangiao and Eduard Folayang, among others.

Labsan will be joined by Harold Banario, who made the Heroes: Team Lakay mural also found at the sports complex. Banario will paint mostly martial artists and will be at another portion of the Athletic Bowl.

Banario will paint Asian Games silver medalist and 2019 SEAG gold medalist for kickboxing Jean Claude Saclag, SEAG wushu-sanda gold medalists Mark Eddiva and Rhea Rifani, former SEAG judo gold medalist Helen Dawa as well as cousins Sharon and Roland Diño; former three-time world Muay Thai champion Brent Velasco; former SEAG boxing gold medalist Alice Kate Aparri; former SEAG karate medal winner Rey Hilario; and karate instructor, 5th dan Edgar Kapawen.

Ged Alangui is the new member of the Heroes group of artists, who will paint the faces of wushu-taolu great Daniel Parantac, archer Kareel Meer Hongitan, International Master Haridas Pascua, car racers Carlos Anton and son Iñigo, professional golfer Mars Pucay, volleyball player Majoy Baron, and basketball players Gerardo Verzosa and Douglas Kramer.

Verzosa and Kramer saw action for Ateneo de Manila University and won crowns with the former Benguet Electric Cooperative general manager as the finals’ most valuable player.

The sports heroes’ mural is expected to be completed by year end. – Ofelia C. Empian