June 20, 2024

Three of the nine members of the national Muay Thai squad who will represent the country in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam this month are from the Cordillera.

2019 SEA Games gold medalist Ariel Lampacan and silver medalists Jenelyn Olsim and Islay Erika Bomogao are the Cordilleran fighters who will complete the national team.

Aside from the SEA Games, the three Cordilleran fighters have won medals in other international competitions over the past years.

The Muay Thai national team members have been training in Baguio City and Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet since last year in preparation for international events such as the SEA Games.

The national squad is under the watch of multi-awarded coach Billy Alumno, along with fellow Cordilleran assistant coach Edzel Ngina. Muay Thai Association of the Philippines (MAP) Secretary-General Pearl Managuelod has also been personally monitoring the team’s training bubble.

The team is led by world champion Philip Delarmino, who has ruled the -57 kilograms of the 2022 IFMA World Championships held in Phuket, Thailand last December.

Other members are 2019 SEA Games silver medalist Ryan Jakiri, model and fitness coach Mario Lumba, former ONE Championship campaigner Fritz Biagtan  Rhichein Yosorez, April Joy La Madrid, and Rudzma Abubakar.

Leeana Bade, the other Filipino Muay Thai fighter who qualified in the 2022 World Games, will not make it to Vietnam.

Last December, MAP was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious IFMA Federation of the Year 2021 during ceremonies in Thailand.

MAP, led by Gen. Lucas Managuelod, bested 147 other member federations worldwide with Muay Thai national squad head coach Alumno receiving the plaque.

MAP was recognized for its continuous efforts and programs in developing and growing the sport despite the Covid-19 pandemic. – Harley F. Palangchao