Issue of December 8, 2019
     
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30th SEAGames: Cordillera athletes bag 10 golds and counting
by Ofelia C. Empian

CORDILLERA PRIDE -- All five Cordilleran athletes, who are members of the Philippine Wushu National Team collected one gold, two silver and three bronze medals in sanda and taulo events of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. The proud athletes are (from left) Divine Wally – gold, Gideon Padua – silver, National Olympic Committee member Tony Candellaria, Daniel Parantac – bronze, Thornton Sayan – bronze and Jones Inso – silver and bronze. -- Natasha Laxamana

There’s no stopping athletes from the Cordillera region in mining gold, contributing to the medal haul of the Philippines, during the 30th Southeast Asian Games slated Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. 

Baguio-raised Stephanie Sabalo was the first to kick-off the gold medal rush, together with partner Michael Angelo Marquez winning two gold medals in the paso doble and all five Latin dances in the dance-sport competition.

Sabalo and Marquez also bagged silver in the jive, contributing to the total 10 gold, one silver medal haul of the dancesport team leading the country’s campaign during the first day of SEAG competition, Dec. 1.

Ifugao’s pride Estie Gay Dulnuan Liwanen bagged gold in the 63 kilogram female category in the kurash competition, toppling Vietnam and Thailand in the folk wrestling style game practiced in Central Asia.

The 37-year-old Dulnuan is emotional with her comeback win, returning to the SEA Games after her last stint in 2007, winning bronze in her previous sport judo.  

Constant wushu champ Divine Masadao Wally never failed to stand at the winner’s podium, this time bagging gold in the 48 kgs. women’s wushu sanda against 2019 World Wushu Championships winner Nguyen Thi Chinh of Vietnam.

The tides turn to her advantage this time, as Nguyen defeated her in the quarterfinals of the semifinals of the 2019 World Wushu Championships in China last August.

Wally, the cousin of mixed martial arts champ Eduard Folayang, won silver in her SEAG debut in 2013. 

Benguet’s son Crisamuel Delfin also made waves in the SEAG with his impressive anyo while clad in traditional Igorot g-string and headgear, earning him an average of 9.87 points to bag the top spot in the arnis non-traditional open weapon competition. 

Also contributing to the 14 gold medal haul of the arnis PHL team are Elmer Manlapas in the featherweight of the full contact, padded stick event while Abegail Dulawan Abad added another gold mint in the women’s welterweight, full contact, padded stick event.

Still in the combative sports, Baguio boy Jearome Anton Calica together with partner Joemar Gallaza of the men’s team dominated the wai kru in the muay thai event.

Baguio-based mixed martial arts athlete Mark Edward Striegl, meanwhile, topped the sambo, men’s combat in the 74 kg category.

Elite ultra runner Sandi Menchi Abahan also gave glory to the Cordillera, as she outpaced other athletes in the obstacle course racing of the women’s 5-km event, earning her a gold medal in the SEA Games.


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