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Reasons to visit Batanes

Batanes is a beautiful and laidback island destination where you can sit back, relax, feel the positive vibes, the cool sea breeze, and bright sunshine. The island province, with its picturesque scenery, is a sanctuary. Its beauty makes one’s heart skip a beat. Aside from what it has to offer visually, Batanes’ pride is its […] The post Reasons to visit Batanes appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneApr 18th, 2021

Waterfront Cebu receives Global Safe Travels Certification

There are more reasons to travel and visit Cebu’s premier city hotel, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, as it has recently been certified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) during a special virtual awarding ceremony of the WTTC Safe Travels stamp held on April 21, 2021. […] The post Waterfront Cebu receives Global Safe Travels Certification appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 21st, 2021

Duterte visit in Lapu-Lapu may not happen with COVID surge in Metro Manila – Chan

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila with several members of the Cabinet and the Presidential Security Group (PSG) being infected with the virus is among the reasons President Rodrigo Duterte may forego attending the celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the Victory of Mactan on April […] The post Duterte visit in Lapu-Lapu may not happen with COVID surge in Metro Manila – Chan appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 19th, 2021

Bayno hopes to visit soon

There were disturbing reports from the wires that Bill Bayno had resigned as Indiana Pacers assistant coach for “personal and mental health reasons” last Monday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2021

Vendors in firecracker zone at SRP pleads: Visit our stalls

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The vendors at the firecracker zone at the South Road Properties (SRP) urge the public to buy goods from them. The vendors noticed a decreased number of customers on Christmas eve, December 24, 2020, a day when customers usually rush to buy firecrackers. One of the reasons why they believe customers are […] The post Vendors in firecracker zone at SRP pleads: Visit our stalls appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 24th, 2020

These remarkable biblical wonders are still on our maps today

Biblical places written in the bible have significant roles in our history. Some of these places were centers of ancient power or trade, these places were even the heart of an empire. Many of these places have been damaged or lost due to natural reasons. But a number of tourists visit these historic places to […] The post These remarkable biblical wonders are still on our maps today appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 7th, 2020

Reasons not to go

There are many reasons President Rodrigo Duterte should turn down an invitation to visit the United States in March......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 21st, 2020

San Francisco roars back into playoffs as NFC s top seed

By Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press For the first time since 1997, the San Francisco 49ers are the top seed in the NFC playoffs, a stunning turnaround for a team that owned the second overall pick in the NFL draft just nine months ago. After four straight losing campaigns, including only 10 wins in coach Kyle Shanahan's first two seasons, the 49ers went from 4-12 to 13-3 this season. They emerged as the top team in the NFC thanks a big-play offense and a vastly improved defense sparked by Nick Bosa, whom they chose with that No. 2 draft pick. They earned the top seed with a thrilling finale at Seattle when rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw made a stop inches from the goal line, earning his team a week off and up to two home games in the 49ers' quest to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in seven years. "It feels good to get where we're at," Shanahan said. "Our goal was to get in the playoffs, it feels much better with being the one seed. By now everyone knows there is only one team that is happy at the end of year." The Green Bay Packers secured the other first-round bye. The Seahawks visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and the Minnesota Vikings visit the New Orleans Saints in the other NFC wild-card game. 1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 3. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 29, 49-26 over San Diego Chargers on Jan. 29, 1995. Last year: 4-12. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2013. YEA: The 49ers have won different ways with the defense dominating early and the offense playing better late. The returns of edge rusher Dee Ford and S Jaquiski Tartt should help the defense return to its early season form. If QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense can maintain its play from the second half when the team ranked second in plays of at least 20 yards, the Niners should be tough to beat. NAY: The Niners will still be missing at least one key defensive piece at the start of the playoffs in LB Kwon Alexander and several depth pass rushers also are out for the year. That could limit the improvement on defense and there is little playoff experience on offense with WR Emmanuel Sanders the only key skill position player who has been in the postseason. Garoppolo has improved the past few weeks but still has a propensity for turnovers, which could prove costly. SAY: "We knew going into the year we had a chance to be pretty good with what we had on paper and watching the guys throughout training camp. We knew that pretty well after the first five games, we could feel it. Then you go through a number of injuries and stuff and you never know how you're going to be able to fully handle that. That's what I have been impressed the most with the guys, no one has wavered." — Shanahan. 2. GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 5. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011. Last year: 6-9-1. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2016. YEA: RB Aaron Jones is the team MVP. The third-year pro is Green Bay's first 1,000-yard rusher since Eddie Lacy in 2014 and his 19 total touchdowns (16 rushing, three receiving) tied Carolina's Christian McCaffrey for the league high. In the Packers' three losses this season, Jones averaged fewer than 42 scrimmage yards. If first-year coach Matt LaFleur gets Jones the ball early and often and QB Aaron Rodgers can add in a splash of his old magic, Green Bay could find itself in Miami in February. NAY: Though Rodgers has had flashes of his old greatness, the 36-year-old two-time MVP has played far below his soaring standards. Rodgers had a passer rating of less than 80.0 in each of his last three starts and had a career-high 16 overthrows against Detroit in the regular-season finale. If the Packers are going to win another Super Bowl, they're going to need the Rodgers of old, not the old Rodgers. SAY: "We haven't always made it easy and we haven't always made it pretty, but for the most part, we've found a way to win every game. You have to say a lot about the resiliency of this team, because we've gotten ourselves into a lot of different scenarios, but we always believe we can go out there and put up a bunch of points in a hurry." -- WR Davante Adams 3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 2. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 44, beat Indianapolis 31-17 on Feb. 7, 2010. Last year: No. 1 seed, beat Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 at home in divisional round, lost to Los Angeles Rams 26-23 (OT) in NFC championship at home. Third consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: QB Drew Brees, who'll turn 41 on Jan. 15, has been in vintage form lately with a big assist from the NFL's top WR Michael Thomas. Brees has passed for 1,188 yards and 15 TDs in the past four games, evidence of his strong comeback from a thumb surgery that sidelined him five games. Thomas racked up a single-season record 149 catches for 1,725 yards and nine TDs. The Saints' eight turnovers are an NFL record low for a season. New Orleans had 51 sacks, third most in the NFL and ranked fourth against the run. NAY: While the Saints don't have many weaknesses, they can be their own worst enemy. Their 120 penalties for 1,036 yards ranked sixth worst in the NFL in both categories and their minus-323 net penalty yards ranked second worst. New Orleans' secondary has been beset with late-season injuries. Both starting safeties and a starting cornerback did not play in Week 17. SAY: "Down the stretch here I think we've been an ascending team. We've been playing a little bit better each and every week, despite the fact that we have had some guys go down." — Brees 4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-7). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 11. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 52, 41-33 over New England Patriots, Feb. 4, 2018. Last year: No. 6 seed, beat Chicago Bears 16-15 in wild-card game on road, lost to New Orleans Saints 20-14 in divisional round on road. Third consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: The Eagles are hungry and Carson Wentz is determined to do what Nick Foles did in his absence two years ago — win a Super Bowl. If Wentz continues playing at the MVP level he displayed in December, the Eagles are dangerous. They have a strong rushing attack that can control the clock and an experienced defense that shuts down the run and forces teams to be one-dimensional. NAY: Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia 17-9 on Nov. 24. Russell Wilson is 4-0 against Philly. The Eagles have been riddled by injuries and finished the regular season without seven starters on offense. Three of those players could return to face the Seahawks but it's likely two will be game-time decisions. SAY: "In the last couple games, (Wentz) has really put this team on his back and said, 'Hey, follow me.' And I think that's a sign of growth, a sign of maturity. I spent eight years in Green Bay with Brett Favre, and that's what Brett did. Brett just put the team on his back when the chips were against us and just said, 'Follow me.' And that's what Carson can do." — Coach Doug Pederson. 5. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-5). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 6. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014. Last year: No. 5 seed, lost to Dallas Cowboys 24-22 in wild-card game on road. Second consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: Unlike years past, if the Seahawks are going to make a deep playoff run, it's going to be because of QB Russell Wilson. He's coming off the second-best season in terms of passing yards, completion percentage and a career-low five interceptions. Wilson's never been asked to carry Seattle in the playoffs but if he can rediscover the success from when he was in the MVP conversation with Lamar Jackson, Seattle has enough other parts to make some noise. NAY: Injuries have stacked up for Seattle. The Seahawks lost their top three running backs, a starting edge rusher, tight end and center to season-ending injuries. Jadeveon Clowney is playing through a painful core muscle injury. Bobby Wagner has a bad ankle as does safety Quandre Diggs. Left tackle Duane Brown underwent knee surgery after Week 16. Eventually the lack of some key stars is likely to catch up with Seattle. SAY: "We have everything we want in the locker room. We have everything that we could need. We have everything that it takes. So it's been a tremendous season. It's been a battle so far. It's been a long one, but it's been a great one so far. The good thing is it's a refresh button, you get to hit the refresh button, start over, 0-0, see how far we can go." — Wilson. 6. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-6). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 8. No Lombardis. Last year: 8-7-1. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2017. YEA: The Vikings have an experienced, accomplished defense that can pose problems for elite QBs and clever play-callers on the other side. The Vikings were sixth in the NFL with an average of 18.9 points allowed and fourth with 31 takeaways. Their play-action passing attack with Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook poses a dual threat and QB Kirk Cousins throwing deep to WR Stefon Diggs, can be awfully dangerous, too. NAY: The downside on defense is the erosion of the pass coverage. After ranking in the top three in passing yards allowed in the league in each of the past three years, the Vikings dropped to 15th in 2019. They also fell to 19th in the NFL in third down conversions allowed after leading the league in 2017 and 18. The offense carries its own reasons to doubt a playoff run, with Cousins never having won a postseason game in the NFL and a recent dud at home against division rival Green Bay. SAY: "I know it's been done before. Why not us?" — coach Mike Zimmer on the prospect of winning three road games to reach the Super Bowl. ___ AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow, Rob Maaddi and Dave Campbell and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Brett Martel and Keith Jenkins contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020

Olympic champion Biles to headline post-Olympic tour

By Will Graves, Associated Press Simone Biles wants to bring gymnastics to the masses and plans to bring some of her friends along for the ride. The Olympic and world champion is headlining a tour in the fall of 2020 that will be a mixture of sports and entertainment intended to inspire the next generation of female athletes. The “Gold Over America” tour will visit more than 35 cities, including Biles' hometown of Houston as well as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The idea originated when Biles was in the early stages of her return to gymnastics in the fall of 2017 after taking a year off following her memorable performance at the 2016 Olympics, where she won four gold medals and five in all, becoming the face of her sport. “When we found out I was coming back, we kind of sat down and talked about things I would want to do,” Biles told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “They said it could be as small as starting a perfume line or maybe as big as a tour. I was like, 'Actually, that would be pretty sweet. That would be the coolest thing ever.'" The women-only roster will reunite Biles with longtime friend Katelyn Ohashi. Ohashi and Biles competed against each other growing up. Like Biles, Ohashi — the 2012 junior national champion — had designs on competing at the Olympics before injuries sidetracked her elite career. She instead attended UCLA, helping the Bruins win the national title in 2018 and becoming a viral sensation last winter with her Michael Jackson-themed floor routine. "She made her mark," Biles said. “She put college gymnastics and gymnastics ... back on the map. She has impacted a lot of female gymnasts and I think this really brings us full circle." The tour will also finally allow Biles to join forces with former UCLA coach Val Kondos Field. Biles verbally committed to compete for the Bruins before turning professional in 2015. Kondos Field, who retired last spring, will serve as executive producer and supervising choreographer for the tour. Biles said the goal is to bring the sport closer to the audience and also to loosen things up a bit. The plan is to utilize giant video screens, pyrotechnics and an in-house DJ. “We want this to be completely different," Biles said. “There will be dancing. Hopefully trampoline. Something people have never seen before." Biles captured five gold medals at the 2019 world championships to boost her career total to 25 medals overall, a record for both men and women. She is widely considered the greatest gymnast of all time and her face has been at the forefront of television promos for the 2020 Olympics, where she will try to become the first woman in more than 50 years to repeat as gymnastics champion. While there are times she admits she's still processing her fame, she's is starting to understand her influence on the sport. It's one of the reasons she agreed to headline the tour. “In a way, it’s scary," Biles said. "But at this point I also feel like it’s really exciting to have a platform that I do and to be able to do some of the things that I’ve been blessed with. I think it’s a combination of both. So I don’t know. We went back and forth on if we wanted my name in it, but you never know. I think it’ll be OK.” USA Gymnastics typically coordinates a post-Olympic tour of its own, though there are no plans for one in 2020. The organization remains in bankruptcy court as it tries to reach a resolution with athletes who were sexually abused by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, who abused gymnasts — Biles included — under the guise of treatment. Biles said she hasn't spoken to anyone at USA Gymnastics directly about her tour but added, “I know they’re aware about it and they’ve been pretty supportive." “Simone is an amazing athlete and person, and having her own tour will give her a stage to showcase her skills and talent, as well as those of other women," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. Just how many athletes will join Biles and Ohashi remains uncertain. “We’re looking at the top of the line and the best gymnasts from elite and maybe we did think from around the world, but that gets really, really difficult just because of the visas and all of that stuff," Biles said. “Right now in the circle I know a couple of college gymnasts and then elite gymnasts (who will be on the tour), like world class.” Biles is in the midst of a recovery period following her record-breaking performance at the world championships. She said she anticipates returning to competition in April before the US Championships, the Olympic Trials and then the Olympics next summer. Then it's likely off to retirement and a chance to make an impact far beyond the competition floor, a process that will start with the tour, where she will have her hand in selecting the group and helping put the show together. “I feel like everyone’s creative vision coming together is very unique,” she said. “And so I think once we get together and we have a set plan on what we’ll do, it'll be very exciting.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

George’s 37 in home debut lead Clippers past Hawks 150-101

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George scored 37 points in his Clippers home debut, Lou Williams added 25, and Los Angeles led all the way in routing the Atlanta Hawks 150-101 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). The anticipated first game with George and Kawhi Leonard in the lineup together didn’t happen when Leonard sat out with a left knee contusion. But the Clippers didn’t need both of their new superstars on a night when George tied his career high with six 3-pointers and made all 11 of his free throws in the team’s biggest blowout of the young season. Take a bow, PG! ????He dropped 37 points in his Clippers home debut! #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/dKEzJ3MVoy— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 17, 2019 George was clearly having fun in the fourth when he stole the ball, dribbled down and tossed it off the glass, setting up Montrezl Harrell for a two-handed dunk that ignited the crowd and pushed the Clippers’ lead to 36 points. George sat down for good with 9:58 remaining in the game, having done all his damage playing 20 minutes. Two nights after scoring 33 in his debut at New Orleans, George had it going from the start. He scored 15 of the Clippers’ first 22 points in a six-minute span. They led by 17 and shot 59 percent in the opening quarter. George is the first player in franchise history to score 30-plus points in his first two games with the team. The Hawks scored 11 straight points to close within four early in the second quarter, the closest they would come the rest of the game. The Clippers answered with an 18-6 run, fueled by George’s nine points, to go back up by 17 again. George had 25 points at halftime when the Clippers led 74-62, shooting 52% and making all 16 of their free throws. Leonard also sat out on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) when George made his Clippers debut in a loss to the Pelicans. George missed the season’s first 11 games while completing rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. “I would love them to play every game and be out there,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the game. “We knew early on this would be a tough go.” Trae Young had 20 points for the Hawks, who dropped their second in a row. They trailed by 52 points in the fourth. The Clippers dominated in nearly every category, with their bench outscoring the Hawks’ reserves 81-35. Los Angeles made 17 3-pointers and hit 33 of 35 free throws. TIP-INS Hawks: Young’s run of consecutive games with double-doubles ended at four. ... Evan Turner returned after missing eight games with left Achilles pain and scored 11 points off the bench. ... Vince Carter missed his fourth game in a row for personal reasons. Clippers: George passed Phil Smith (35 on Oct. 10, 1980) for most points in a Clippers home debut. ... All 12 Clippers saw action and scored. ... Jerome Robinson scored a career-high 21 points. ... Their 43 points were the most in a first quarter since scoring 46 against Philadelphia on Feb. 9, 2014. ... It’s the fourth game Leonard has missed; the others were due to load management. ... Patrick Beverley sat out with a sore left calf. ... Landry Shamet missed his third straight game because of a high ankle sprain. ... Rookie Terance Mann made his second straight start and scored 13 points. HE SAID IT “He’s clearly the second-best point guard to ever play for the Hawks.” — Hawks career assists leader Rivers on Young. UP NEXT Hawks: Visit the Lakers on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) in the second half of a local back-to-back, their third of the season. Clippers: Host Oklahoma City on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in the second of four straight home games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2019

Fox, Hield lead Kings to 113-92 rout of Knicks

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — De'Aaron Fox scored 24 points, Buddy Hield had 22 and the Sacramento Kings routed the New York Knicks 113-92 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) for their second straight victory following a 0-5 start. Harrison Barnes added 19 points and Richaun Holmes finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who brought the momentum from their 102-101 home victory over Utah on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) across the country and ran away from the Knicks. Sacramento led by as many as 32 points in a surprisingly simple start to a three-game road trip. Nemanja Bjelica chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Marcus Morris scored 28 points for the Knicks, who dropped their third straight and fell to 1-6. Rookie RJ Barrett had 22 points. Sacramento led by nine after one quarter, then opened the second with an 11-0 run to build a 43-23 lead on Bogdan Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 7:34 remaining in the half. New York didn't score until more than five minutes had elapsed in the period, and after clawing back within 12 later in the quarter, promptly gave up the next nine points as the Kings pushed the lead to 55-34. A 61-41 halftime lead quickly was expanded to 76-44 on Fox's jumper, and boos broke out during a third quarter that ended with Sacramento ahead 90-64. TIP-INS Kings: Coach Luke Walton's pregame interview with reporters was attended by a couple special guests. His father Bill, a Hall of Fame player, stood in the back along with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. Both wore Kings sweatshirts. "In the NBA season you're on the road a lot, so any time you can have family and friends around, it's a nice mini break. But they know and we know we're here for business. We're here to try to get better as a team and try to win a game." ... The Kings have won the last four meetings. Knicks: Second-round pick Ignas Brazdeikis made his NBA debut in the fourth quarter. He scored four points. ... Coach David Fizdale changed up his starting lineup, inserting Bobby Portis at center in place of Mitchell Robinson. Portis scored two points. Robinson had 10. ... The Knicks remained short-handed in the backcourt, with point guards Elfrid Payton (strained right hamstring) and Dennis Smith Jr. (personal reasons) still out. FATHER KNOWS BEST Though Bill Walton has been a popular TV broadcaster and is known for his loquaciousness, he picks and chooses his spots when it comes to talking to his son about the game. "My dad's been great my whole basketball career, whether I was a player or now into coaching," Luke Walton said. "He offers advice when I want it and he knows when to leave me alone. So he's a great person to be able to talk to and communicate about the game, what he sees, but he also knows that this is my job and I'm doing it. So, when and when not to put his voice in there." UP NEXT Kings: Visit Toronto on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Knicks: Visit Detroit on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2019

PRRD Had ‘Productive’ Visit in Quake-Hit Batanes

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had a “productive visit” to the earthquake-hit province of Batanes on Sunday (July 28), Malacañang said on Monday. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s visit began with an aerial inspection of affected areas in Itbayat town, where he personally saw the extent of the natural disaster’s damage. “The President also gave […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJul 30th, 2019

Duterte visits quake-hit Batanes

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will visit Batanes this Sunday morning, Malacanang said, a day after the island was struck by an earthquake that killed at least nine people and injured 60…READ The post Duterte visits quake-hit Batanes appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 28th, 2019

Team Lakay s Gina Iniong and Joshua Pacio: Two paths, one goal

Lakay. It is the Ilocano word for old man.   But when you go up to Baguio, it has an altogether different meaning. You cannot miss that word when you drive down Benguet road, on a nifty sign attached to a normal-looking office building: Team Lakay.   The home of the best Philippine mixed martial arts team in history. Almost all of the big names local fight fans have come to cheer and love as our modern-day heroes trace their roots to the relatively small, packed training room down Benguet road, where mats are soaked with the sweat of the fighters.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, Rey Docyogen, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva are all hallowed names in the annals of Philippine mixed martial arts, disciples of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, who established, and groomed Team Lakay to the fearsome fighting factory that it is today.   While all the names above have ensconced themselves on pedestals, Team Lakay’s pipeline includes two more who have been fighting for recognition in recent fights: lone female fighter Gina Iniong, and ONE’s current Strawweight lynchpin and youngest champion, Joshua Pacio.   Both fighters may have started their professional fighting careers for different reasons, but Iniong and Pacio still have a lot to offer and prove for mixed martial arts in the country and in the international stage, such as being prominent fighters in the prestigious cage of ONE Championship.   CHANCE OF A LIFETIME   Gina, the first female Filipino mixed martial artist to fight and win abroad, started boxing back in high school as part of her after-school activities. When she was about to graduate, she actively sought scholarships in order to finish her education. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of an athletic scholarship, concentrating on the martial art of Wushu, which has a huge following in her hometown of Baguio City, with the University of the Cordilleras having a team of its own.   “Our former boxing coach, who was a former student of Coach Mark (Sangiao), approached me one day, telling me to join the upcoming wushu competition then for the college scholarship. So I joined it, and took a chance,” Iniong shared, recounting how she got into the world of combat sports as a young lady.   However, it was too good to be true, as she had to hurdle quite a huge problem if she wants that scholarship: a fight record. Sangiao told the young Iniong it would be difficult to get her a scholarship if she does not have a record to show in active combat in Wushu.   “I was lucky because there was a Wushu National Games here in Manila and we immediately went down and made our way there. Thankfully, I got the gold after the competition, and that paved the way for my scholarship,” said Iniong.   From there, the “Conviction” was born. After competing in numerous Wushu tournaments, Iniong finally caught the eye of Sangiao, who decided to take her under his wings and train her to be his female version inside the MMA cage.   After debuting in the Universal Reality Combat Championship in 2010, Iniong hasn’t looked back in the 12 bouts she has figured in, compiling a professional record of 8-4.  As the lone female representative of the most-successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines, she has displayed that trademark fearsome striking prowess of fighters coming from the Lakay camp.   When asked about the fact that she is one of the only five Filipinas making the country proud inside the ONE cage, the 29-year old’s face lit up, in disbelief, in honor, in humility, for she cannot believe it herself.   “I’m very proud, and humbled, of the fact that I am the lone female fighter representing Team Lakay in ONE Championship. Many very skilled female fighters dream of being part of ONE Championship, and fight under Team Lakay, yet I am the one that Coach Mark has seen with the most potential to carry the flag inside the cage,” she said.   However, what drives Gina to fight, and it has been a well-known fact, is her mother, diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. In her fight against Jihin Radzuan last February, Iniong dedicated the fight to her mother, who to this day, is scared of seeing her daughter mix it up in the ring.   “To this day, she hasn’t watched me fight live, not even on TV because she is quite the nervous person, and she would only watch if she knew I won, during replays. She is very unlike my dad, who has fully supported my life as an athlete, after being a boxer himself in his younger days,” she shared.   CHALLENGE ACCEPTED   Joshua “The Passion” Pacio never intended to make mixed martial arts fighting a career growing up. The 23-year old fighter deemed it impossible back then, to reach a stage as huge as ONE Championship, due to the excellence of the fighters that he used to watch with his uncle through videos.   Add to the fact that Pacio was overweight. Obese, specifically. It made it all the more difficult for the kid to follow his dream and passion to be a fighter.   It all changed when his uncle started training him in Muay Thai, the art of the eight limbs that originated from Thailand, and considered one of the deadliest forms of combat striking. It started out as training just for fitness, but as if seeing a tiny ray of light in a dark tunnel, Pacio wanted more.   “At first, it was only for fitness, with my uncle training me, and watching videos of various MMA fights, which really inspired me to push myself harder. I really wanted to test myself, compete with the best, and it all seemed impossible when I was out of shape. My uncle really pushed me starting with Muay Thai. I started competing a few months after that, but I suffered defeat after defeat in amateur competitions. I questioned myself why I still trained afterwards. But at the same time, that’s when I realized that this is really my passion, that even if I lost my last fight,” shared the ONE Championship Strawweight king, who has not looked back since then.   “The goal for me has ever been to prove to myself that I have improved in skills, and be the best fighter I can be,” Pacio added.   He made his ONE debut three years ago, finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of professional mixed martial arts, facing a more experienced Filipino fighter in Robin Catalan at the age of 20, one of the youngest to enter ONE’s cage.   “Before I got to represent Team Lakay in ONE Championship, the roster spot was actually up for grabs. Fighters of the team figured in a Team Lakay Championship, a grand-prix style tournament within the team, for the ONE Championship contract. I fought twice victoriously in one night to get it. Two weeks later, with a ONE Championship event in Manila, that’s when I found out I am making my professional debut,” said an astounded Pacio.   Everything about the man they call “The Passion” has been hard earned. He finally tasted gold last 2018 when he decisioned the famed Yoshitaka Naito, a Japanese ground and wrestling master that forced Pacio to tap via a rear-naked choke when they first met. Facing, and losing to Naito, according to Pacio, was a revelation that he has to improve his overall skills, especially his ground game in order to play with the big boys of the cage.   Striking will definitely get you somewhere, as is with Pacio’s base as a martial artist, but one has to have more tricks up his sleeve when they aspire for the pinnacle of the competition. Joshua came back with a vengeance in 2018 to show “Nobita” that “The Passion” is no longer the young kid who will be submitted easily.   However, 2019 did not start of great for Pacio and Team Lakay, after he lost the belt in January to Naito’s contemporary in Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in a questionable split decision. But that did not deter the young man, who has made it his personal goal to continue improving and treat each loss as a lesson, in ONE Championship’s “Roots of Honor” fight card, where he faced Saruta once more.   This time, in front of a racous Filipino crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Pacio did not let the judges’ cards decide as he detonated a right knee to the side of Saruta’s head late in the fourth round to reclaim his throne. The dreaded Team Lakay striking power knocked the lights out from the Japanese fighter as Baguio’s young lion let out a furious roar to celebrate his redemption.   TWO PATHS, ONE GOAL   One did it for education, the other for health. Nowadays, however, MMA means more to Iniong and Pacio than just a stepping stone to something else. It is their passion, their advocacy, their bread and butter.   They continue to grind each day, waiting for another opportunity to show what they got and get the win, not just for personal glory, but also for the country and their family.   Inspired by her ailing mother, the “Conviction” promises to keep her current winning streak up despite being up against a formidable foe in her next match. After tasting defeat from Brazilian Istela Nunes, Iniong bounced back with a split decision over Radzuan last February to get herself back on track. Right now, Gina has one thing in mind with their goal: chase that ONE Women’s Atomweight division title, currently held by Angela Lee, and become the Philippines’ very first female ONE world champion.   However, Iniong acknowledges that the path towards the gold may not be easy, as she is currently eyeing a rematch with Japanese tormentor Mei Yamaguchi, the number one-ranked Atomweight fighter whom she has fought with twice, in order to settle who the rightful challenger to Lee’s belt is.   “Everyone has gotten belts. My big brothers in the team have tasted championship. I felt jealous because I do not have a belt, and lost my fight that would have given me a title shot. This time, I will make sure that I will do my best to secure a title fight,” rued Iniong in a previous interview with ONE Championship prior to fighting Radzuan.   While Iniong wants hit paydirt, it’s all about keeping the belt on his waist for Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight champion. His most probable foe is his nemesis Yoshitaka Naito who he does not have a problem with facing for the third time.   “I really want to prove I am the champion, and if it’s by facing him (Naito), so be it. I also want to prove that I have greatly improved as well from the last time we fought,” he shared.   While Iniong and Pacio await their next fighting assignment, their teammates are in the thick of training for the upcoming “Dawn of Heroes” megafight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. It features Team Lakay members, led by Edward “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and Danny “The King” Kingad, who will face the best of the world as represented by Eddie Alvarez, Reece McLaren, and Yuya Wakamatsu.   The entire country will be cheering on them as the whole world watches. And maybe somehow, somewhere there will be new blood encouraged and inspired by them to take on the challenge of continuing the legacy of the nation’s best fighting team alongside Iniong and Pacio.   After all, Sangiao did not establish Team Lakay just to be some Bagiuo-based fitness gym down Benguet road. He made Team Lakay to provide a home, a family, for young Filipinos who have the heart to fight for their dream, their family, and the country.     Watch “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD with livestreaming on iWant for all the Pinoy fight fans to see. For more stories and news one ONE Championship, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

Against backdrop of controversy, Red Sox honored by Trump

By Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump honored the World Series champion Boston Red Sox — well, some of them — at the White House on Thursday, but made no mention of the controversy that shadowed the visit. The team's manager, Alex Cora, did not attend the ceremony after citing his frustration with the administration's efforts to help his native Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane. And nearly a dozen members of the team, all players of color, skipped the opportunity to shake Trump's hand. Meanwhile, every white player on the team — as well as outfielder J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — attended. The Red Sox repeatedly denied that there was any sort of racial divide caused by the White House visit, which has been transformed from moment of celebratory ritual to hyper-politicized event under Trump. And there was no sign of discord during the rained-upon ceremony on the White House South Lawn. The U.S. Marine Corps band played versions of "Dirty Water" and "Sweet Caroline," two unofficial Red Sox anthems. A derogatory shout about the Red Sox rival, the New Yankees, was heard. Trump was presented with a Red Sox jersey with No. 18 on the back. The day was not without mishaps: The White House first incorrectly labeled the team as the "Red Socks" on its website and then later, in an email, dubbed them the champions of something called the "World Cup Series." But Trump himself stuck to the correct script, honoring the team's dominant run to the title. "Frankly, they were unstoppable. I watched," said Trump, who noted that the squad had now won more World Series titles than any other franchise this century. He laughed when Martinez teased him for being a Yankees fan. The president was accompanied by two of the team's stars, Martinez and pitcher Chris Sale, from the Oval Office and joined the rest of the team assembled under the South Portico. The team's third base coach, Carlos Febles, who is from the Dominican Republic, stood two rows behind the president. And dozens of administration officials and members of government, many of whom hail from the six New England states, stood on the lawn to cheer. Tom Werner, the team's chairman, downplayed the no-shows, saying that it was each player's personal decision whether to attend. "We don't see it as a racial divide," he said after the team received a post-ceremony tour of the Lincoln Bedroom. "I think, to the extent that we can, baseball is apolitical." A championship team's coach rarely, if ever, misses the White House visit, a tradition that began in earnest in 1924 when then-President Calvin Coolidge invited the Washington Senators. Cora had considered attending Thursday's White House event to call attention to the plight of those in Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria is estimated to have caused nearly 3,000 deaths. But in the end, he opted not to go. "Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting," Cora said in a statement. "Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane Maria struck. I've used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten, and my absence is no different. As such, at this moment, I don't feel comfortable celebrating in the White House." Before the visit, Trump defended his stance on Puerto Rico, falsely asserting once again that the territory received $91 billion in hurricane relief money, which he claimed was "the largest amount of money ever given to any state." In fact, Congress has allocated Puerto Rico just a fraction of that figure. The White House has said Trump's $91 billion estimate includes about $50 billion in speculated future disaster disbursements that could span decades, along with $41 billion already approved. Actual aid to Puerto Rico has flowed more slowly from federal coffers, with about $11 billion given so far. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the U.S government more than $120 billion — the bulk of it going to Louisiana. Trump nonetheless told reporters, "the people of Puerto Rico should really like President Trump." Those around the Red Sox locker room stressed that a player's decision to attend was a personal choice and not, in many cases, political. "Politically, it didn't matter who was in the White House. If I have an opportunity to go to the White House and meet the president, I'm going to go," relief pitcher Heath Hembree said Wednesday. "Nobody tried to persuade me. They have their reasons why not to go." For some players, it may be their only chance for a White House invite. It also reflects a larger trend across baseball: A number of players hail from Trump-friendly states like Texas and Florida, while the sport has also seen a surge in Latino players and a decline in African Americans. Having also won World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013, the Red Sox — who also visited wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday — have been honored at the White House under both Republican and Democratic presidents. But the events have taken on sharp political overtones since Trump took office. When the New England Patriots visited in 2017, Trump's first year in office, far fewer players attended than when the franchise won a title under President Barack Obama. After several players on the Philadelphia Eagles and Golden State Warriors publicly declared that they would skip White House ceremonies, Trump disinvited the teams. Trump has also instituted a new tradition for the ceremonies, scrapping gourmet meals in favor of offering plates of fast food to the athletes. The Red Sox were not at the White House for a meal, Werner said. Moreover, the optics of the Red Sox visit are certain to receive additional scrutiny due to the history of racially charged moments for both the team and the city it calls home. The Red Sox, infamously, held a failed tryout for Jackie Robinson before he broke the sport's color barrier. They were the last team in the major leagues to integrate. And an Elks Club in the team's former spring training home of Winter Haven, Florida, invited only white players to events, a practice that stopped only in the 1980s, when black players complained ___ Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington, Jimmy Golen in Boston and David Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

Soon-to-open Malagos Chocolate Spa and Duterte-spotting :10 reasons to visit Davao anew

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Category: lifestyleSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 5th, 2016

HOLIDAY SHOPPING | 13 unique reasons to visit The Traveling Trunk sale, Nov. 19-20

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Category: lifestyleSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsNov 16th, 2016

DUTERTE TRANSCRIPTS: Visit to Batanes

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8 fresh reasons to visit the 37th Manila International Book Fair, Sept. 14 to 18

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Category: lifestyleSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsSep 17th, 2016

9 Reasons why you should visit the QCX Museum

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Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 21st, 2016