February 1, 2023

There’s no stopping Benguet’s pride muscleman Orlando Smith, Jr. from his winning streak as he bagged two bronze me-dals during the 2022 World Fitness Federation World Championships Pro-Am in Indonesia.

Fresh from his win last month, Smith out-posed other contingents from all over the world as he was relegated to third place in the men’s bodybuilding masters and men’s bodybuilding athletic during the event held Nov. 18 to 20 at Raja Hotel Kuta Mandalika in the island of Lombok.

BENGUET PRIDE — Orlando Smith, Jr. once again proved his mettle when he won two bronze medals in the 2022 World Fitness Federation World Championships Pro-Am in Lombok, Indonesia on Nov. 18 to 20. Smith, 53, was part of the Team Philippines that brought home two silver and two bronze medals. — Contributed photo

Posing to the sound of Alien Ant Farm’s version of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal, the 53-year-old Smith wowed the audience with his introductory pose in the masters’ category of 50 and above.

He said the individual posing routine was a surprise routine, for which he had to do impromptu du-ring the event. 

“It was one of my toughest competitions as the contenders were mostly, if not, all physically prepared. Not to mention more than 18 hours of air, land, and sea travel from Baguio City to Lombok in Indonesia,” Smith said.

Smith said the two categories he joined were consecutive, which gave him barely a time to relax and recover, but it pushed him to give his best.  

“It was also an emotional time for me as it was my dad’s death anniversary. I felt that he was looking over me and celebrating up in heaven,” he said.

The son of Orlando Smith, Sr., the contemporary of the late councilor Nick Domalsin, both Igorot legends in bodybuilding, the younger Smith took inspiration from both athletes to continue their legacy of showing the Igorot physique in the international stage.

He is part of the WFF Philippines contingent during the event, which brought other participants as far as South Africa, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and some other Asian nations.

Other Team Philippines members also brought pride to the country, namely Manila’s Marwin Batinga, silver medalist in the bodybuilding open weight; Cebu’s Chares Dacalos winning silver in the women’s glamour; Iloilo’s John Paul dela Cruz, top five in the men’s bermuda or beach model category; and Cebu’s Don Kiamco, top five in the men’s bodybuilding open weight.

Smith thanked those who supported his bodybuilding journey this year.

He said he will be off-season for the rest of the year but looks forward to his next competitions for 2023 in Japan, Germany, or Mexico, pending final confirmation from organizers and sponsors. – Ofelia C. Empian