January 31, 2023

A Cordillera-based kickboxing trainer, who was instrumental in the gold medal wins of three Team Lakay athletes in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, succumbed to stroke on Oct. 1.

Long-time trainer Manuel Sanidad, 56, died at the Benguet General Hospital, where he was confined for 11 days after he suffered a stroke on Sept. 21. He was also tested positive for Covid-19 on Sept. 25.

Highland Boxing Promotions owner Brico Santig confirmed the news. He and some of his athletes took turns looking after Sanidad during his stay at the hospital.

Santig and three of his boxers including former boxing champion Rex Wa-o were tested for the infection and underwent quarantine. The results of their RT-PCR tests came out negative.

Gina Iniong-Araos, in a Facebook post, bid farewell to Sanidad whom she called “master.”Araos was one of the three kickboxing gold medalists during the 30th SEAG last year.

Fellow Team Lakay fighters Jerry Olsim and Jean Claude Saclag, who trained under Sanidad, also each won a gold medal while Jomar Balangui and Renz Dacquel won silver medal each. Another athlete, Karol Maguide,won a bronze medal.

Santig said Sanidad fell from his chair after taking a bath after a day of training. He was immediately brought to BeGH and needed an operation to remove a blood clot in his head.

The remains of Sanidad, who traced his roots to Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, was cremated in accordance to Covid-19 health protocols. – Ofelia C. Empian