Sports Heroes

"The Magician" Efren Bata ReyesManny PacquiaoMikee Cojuangco

Danny SeigleFilipinos prove their mettle in sports as they harvest medals in different events. In the international level, Filipinos stamp their marks as they prove to be the best among the best.

The birth of the Philippine Sports Commission in the 1987 Constitution affirms the importance of sports in fostering self-discipline, teamwork and excellence in the development of a healthy and functioning citizenry. The Palarong Pambansa provides the venue for professional athletes from all over the country to meet in annual competition.

Private sponsors put up sports clinics to encourage the youth to engage in healthy recreation. Almost all barangays have several multi-purpose gyms which are ideal venues for basketball, volleyball and badminton tournaments. Some public parks are also sites for exercise programs that include aerobics and dance exercises, among others.

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao

- Light Heavyweight Champion of the World Boxing Council (WBC: 2003), International Boxing Federation (IBF: 2003) and World Boxing Association (WBA: 2004)

Efren "The Magician" Reyes

- dubbed as "The Magician" when he became the 1985 Red 9-Ball Open champion for his ability to execute brilliant shots

Eric Buhain

- the most accomplished swimmer of his generation. No other Filipino male before or since Buhain has won the Best Male Athlete of the SEA Games when he did the trick in 1991 after he took home five gold medals, broke two records and helped the Philippines come to within a breath of the Games overall championship.

Eugene Torre

- became Asia's first chess grandmaster at the age of 22

Elma Muros

- went down in the Southeast Asian Games history as the only track athlete who won in different events. She was also hailed as the SOUTHEAST ASIAN Games heptathlon queen in 1997.

Francisco "Django" Bustamante

- one of billiard's greatest international stars

Francisco "Pancho Villa" Guilledo

- Asia's first world champion in boxing, dubbed as the greatest flyweight of the century

Gabriel "Flash" Elorde

- dubbed as the greatest Filipino boxer of all time

Gerald Rosales

- Asian Games silver medallist and Southeast Asian Games two-time champion in golf

Jennifer Rosales

- the first player from the Philippines to win on the LPGA Tour in 2004

Lydia de Vega

- Asia's fastest woman in the 1980s. Brought home the gold medal twice in a row in the Asian Games in the 100-meter dash; and the silver medal in the 200-meter run.

Mansueto Velasco

- won the silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the men's light flyweight division

Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski

- the accomplished equestrienne who bagged the gold medal for the Individual Show Jumping competition in the 2002 Asian Games

Paeng Nepomuceno

- the all-time greatest international bowler with six world championships to his credit

Ramon Fernandez

- Philippine Basketball Association’s first four-time Most Valuable Player; played in the league for a record of 20 seasons.

Robert Jaworski

- one of Philippine Basketball Association’s 25 greatest players of all time. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest professional basketball player in the world

Teofilo Yldefonso

- the first Filipino Olympic bronze medallist. He earned this honor in the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Olympics 200-meter breaststroke swimming competition then repeated this feat four years later in the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

Toni Leviste

- 2000 Sydney Olympics participant and part of the Philippine team which won the silver medal in the 2002 Asian Games showjumping competition

Akiko Thomson

- 1992 Barcelona Olympics swimming competition participant

Alvin Patrimonio

- four-time Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, two of which were won back-to-back in 1993 and 1994

Bong Coo

- made her mark in the bowling world when she delivered nine consecutive strikes in 1979. She has continued to reap honors for the country since then.

Carlos Loyzaga

- led the Philippine team that won a bronze medal in the 1954 World Basketball Championship and four gold

Dorothy Delasin

- the Filipina who has become the youngest Ladies’ Professional Golf Association Champion in the last 25 years


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