The remains of former five-time Mr. Asia, Simeon “Sammy” Ayochok finally arrived in Baguio morning of Friday, Aug. 10 after weeks of painstaking waiting by his bereaved family.
Ayochok’s remains will be at the family’s residence at 10 Brookside until Aug. 14.
A mass will be held at the Resurrection Church along Magsaysay Road at around 9 a.m. on Aug. 14 before his remains will be cremated at the Beyond the Sunset crematorium in Tuba, Benguet.
Ayochok, known as the Igorot Hercules, died on July 16 in Shanghai, China where he worked for six years. The cause of his death was not immediately known at press time.
People from all walks of life are expected to pay their last respects to the man who put the Philippines in the world map of bodybuilding for bringing the first golds in international bodybuilding competitions.
Ayochok was born in Bontoc, Mountain Province in 1956 and went to Saint Vincent’s Elementary School and High School for his basic education.
He went to the University of Baguio or the former Baguio Tech upon graduation in 1974 where he got hooked to bodybuilding.
In 1975, he competed in the National Juniors Bodybuilding Championship in the junior division in Manila and went home with the gold.
Ayochok won golds in consecutive Asian Bodybuilding Championships in 1986 in Taipei and in 1987 in Malacca, Malaysia.
He also bagged the coveted title in1988 in Singapore and 1989 in Jakarta, Indonesia. He again won in 1994 in Hong Kong.
It was also in 1987 that Ayochok snared the gold in the South East Asian Games in Jakarta.
The “Igorot Hercules” likewise is the only Cordilleran who emerged runner-up twice in the Mr. Universe competition particularly winning the bronze medal in the 2001 Mr. Olympian in Macon, France.
In 1987, he was fourth in the Mr. Olympian tilt in Madrid, Spain.
Baguio officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan have expressed their sympathies to Ayochok’s survivors while the city council passed a resolution posthumously commending him.
“The prestige and honor he has given to the city, the Cordillera and the country is remarkable and has been a source of motivation to his fellow athletes, and also of other young bodybuilding athletes who are still taking their first steps in the bodybuilding industry,” the resolution said.