In an effort to extend assistance for the recovery and rehabilitation of typhoon-stricken towns in Luzon, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced yesterday that it will be donating P11 million financial assistance to the provinces of Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Cagayan, and the City of Marikina.
Muntinlupa City Department of Disaster Resilience and Management (MCDDRM) chief Erwin Alfonso announced the donation of Muntinlupa City to 21 local government units (LGUs) that were affected by Super Typhoon Rolly, Typhoon Quinta, and Typhoon Ulysses in the recent weeks.
Alfonso said that the Muntinlupa City Council approved the proposed financial aid from the City Government’s 2020 Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund this past November 16 as per recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and MCDDRM.
Muntinlupa City Government is set to extend P1,000,000 financial assistance to the City of Marikina. While P500,000 each will be given to the towns of Bato, San Andres, San Miguel, Baras, and Gigmoto in Catanduanes; Bato, Iriga, Calagbanga, Caramoan, Garchitorena, and Siruma in Camarines Sur; Tiwi, Ligao City, Camalig, and Malinao in Albay; Naujan and Gloria in Oriental Mindoro; Tingloy in Batangas; Alcala and Claveria in Cagayan.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said that this initiative is the city’s share in helping our kababayans who are in need. “In the spirit of bayanihan, the City Government of Muntinlupa will continue to lend its hand to towns in the country needing assistance,” the local exec added.
Fresnedi encouraged the City Government’s department heads and employees to also donate, whether in cash or in kind, to help the victims of the recent typhoons.
During the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, Muntinlupa City sent Rescue Boats and a Water Search and Rescue Team in Marikina to augment their rescue operations. Typhoon Ulysses triggered severe flooding in Marikina leaving residents stranded on top of the roof of their homes and neck-deep flood waters.
Further, there are still 791 families in various evacuation centers in Muntinlupa as of November 15 according to MCDDRM.
Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the City Government continues to provide hot meals and relief packs to the evacuees. Navarro noted that minimum health protocols are enforced in evacuation centers through the City Health Office. She added that CHO has installed help desks and provides medical consultation, breastfeeding counseling, nutritional assessment, vaccination, COVID-19 screening, and psychological first aid to the evacuees. The City Government of Muntinlupa also provides free coco lumber to displaced families and residents in low-lying areas whose houses were submerged in flood water.
Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.
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“We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway,” said San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang in a press statement.
To put things in perspective, SMC fully funded the project with P10 billion and it is designed to extend the Skyway from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, and provide direct access to the elevated section of the Skyway. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) will get connected to the Skyway at Susana Heights which will bypass Alabang and should result seamless and shorter travel from south to north via the Skyway system.
“Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky if you can get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping,” Ang further elaborated.
In addition, motorists coming from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will be able to bypass Alabang which should also ease traffic in Muntinlupa as well as along Alabang-Zapote road.
At this point of time, things are really looking very good as far as Luzon highways and Metro Manila travel are concerned. Being able to travel from Alabang to north of Metro Manila and back with much faster speed and much less stress is something I have always dreamed of. That old dream will soon be realized! Keep an eye on the Skyway and the completion of the extension.
In ending this article, watch and enjoy this very recent Skyway update video.
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After qualifying as a finalist in the recent One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), WWF selected Muntinlupa City as one the country’s representatives in the We Love Cities campaign which aims to bridge better communication between city officials and citizens they represent on climate and sustainability issues.
We Love Cities is a public engagement campaign that allows people across the world to express support for sustainable urban development by voting for their favorite finalist from WWF’s One Planet City Challenge and posting improvement suggestions for these cities.
The campaign aims to raise awareness for the sustainability progress being made in cities, give the general public an opportunity to submit suggestions to decision makers, and strengthen public – decision makers’ cooperation.
58 cities from 27 countries that have demonstrated a strong will to transition toward a sustainable future were selected in the online campaign. Joining Muntinlupa City as part of the Philippine delegation are Batangas City, Batangas and Santa Rosa, Laguna.
WWF lauded Muntinlupa’s action plan to combat the urban heat island effect. The organization highlights the city’s holistic approach towards sustainability including gardening initiatives, first aid trainings to equip city employees in assisting the public during particularly hot periods, climate responsive agriculture training for urban farmers, aquaponics, vertical farming, mulching and mushroom culture.
Further, the public may also visit the city’s page at www.welovecities.org/muntinlupa and click the vote button or submit a suggestion on how to make the city even better.
The campaign will run for 4 weeks from September 14 to October 11, 2020. Participating cities will be promoted via WWF websites, the campaign page, finalists’ websites and social media. The winner will receive the We Love Cities Award.
The participants for this year’s We Love Cities campaign include: Argentina: Buenos Aires, Chacabuco and San Martin de los Andes; Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro; Canada: Vancouver; Chile: Peñalolén, Santiago and Valdivia; Colombia: Mantizales, Monteriá and Villavicencio; Côte d’Ivoire: Commune de Cocody; Ecuador: Municipio de Loja; Finland: Turku; France: Paris; Guatemala: Escuintla, Iztapa and San José; Iceland: Reykjavik; India: Kochi, Nagpur and Rajkot; Indonesia: Balikpapan, Banda Aceh and Jakarta; Malaysia: Melaka, Petaling Jaya and Sebarang Perai; Mexico: Hermosillo, Mérida and Mexico City; New Zealand: Wellington City Council; Norway: Arendal and Baerum; Peru: Borja, Lima and Magdalena; Philippines: Muntinlupa, Batangas and Santa Rosa; Republic of Korea: Suwon City; South Africa: Cape Town, Durban and KwaDukuza; plus many others.
Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.
For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, no distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from New Life Community Care by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
New Life Community Care Feeds and Assists Taal Volcano Eruption Victims
It was there where the NLCOM’s very own mobile kitchen was set up. With precision, careful management of resources and dedication to help the evacuees, the team behind the mobile kitchen produced several hot meals daily during the nine days feeding a whole lot of evacuees who had no choice but to leave their respective communities behind.
According to NLCOM’s program assistant Thessa Joy Jimenez, a total of 52,000 hot meals were served to the evacuees who came from varied communities affected by the January 12 eruption. Mathematically, the mobile kitchen produced an average of more than 5,600 meals per day (breakfast and dinner specifically). This was made possible by having the sophisticated food preparation equipment and sufficient supplies of food and ingredients collected from their donors. The feeding is just one form of NLCOM’s assistance for the evacuees.
Along the way, their team coordinated closely with the local authorities and helped keep things in order. Their assistance to the evacuees was not limited to feeding as they also provided them with hygiene kits, grocery bags and medical services. They also interacted closely with the local community members with a strong focus on helping. These recent acts were in accordance to the NLCOM’s core approach of Respond-Reach Out-Rebuild.
“During calamities, we organized training for the congregants and the volunteers involved in our foundation. We reached out by doing relief operations, medical missions and the mobile kitchen operation to help those who got affected. We rebuild by means of doing livelihood assistance for them,” Jimenez said during my interview with her at their office.
Behind the scenes, NLCOM responded quickly to the eruption by communicating first with the local authorities in Batangas. At their facility inside Alabang Hills Village, their team organized a huge collection of relief goods and cash from their donors (including churches within New Life’s own network), carefully arranged all the relief goods (which include the sleeping mats, blankets and water to name some) in a very orderly fashion, and piled up all the needed supplies before making the long trips to Batangas. Their team was led by their Executive Director Edwin Tugano.
“Our initial plan for the Taal Volcano eruption operation was to operate for three days which was followed by an extension of two days. This was in response to the local authorities’ request for more assistance,” Jimenez said. “Shortly after, our operation became seven days all of which were in Bauan. After that, our team rested and eventually returned to Batangas to serve other barangays in different evacuation areas for two days. Breakfast meals were provided during those two days.”
Ultimately, the volcano eruption victims were happy with all the assistance they received. Jimenez recalled that after the seventh day, the victims were very thankful to NLCOM and there were some who verbally expressed their love to them.
“They were very thankful and we could tell through their personal expressions and their hugs to us,” she said. “We really saw the positive impact we made to them. It was all a very heartwarming experience for us all. Tiring but very fulfilling.”
Regarding NLCOM’s volunteers, Jimenez said that they consistently orient them with disaster preparedness methods, group assistance and working closely with the victims and local authorities. Then on February 19, NLCOM completed another distribution of relief goods for Taal Volcano eruption victims (four hundred families) in Barangay Barigon, Agoncillo, Batangas. They assessed the homes that were damaged (partially or totally) from the disaster.
To date, New Life Community Care continues to engage with its partners, its own network of churches and outreach units, and the varied local authorities around the nation. For the future, Jimenez confirmed to me that NLCOM is continuing its preparation of provisions for further emergency operations as well as maintaining contact with varied authorities and planning what could be the next step to take for future assistance.
Truly New Life Community Care lives up to its name and has an undeniable record of assistance for those who badly need it.
What is New Life Community Care?
New Life Community Care is a foundation, operating exclusively for charitable and social welfare purposes. While associated with New Life Alabang, it is separate and has an independent board.
New Life Community Care is a non-stock, non-profit organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with registration number CN200323699. It is also registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with registration number DSWD-SB-RL-001582015. Their website is at www.nlcom.org.ph
How Did It Start?
It began in 2003 when their Senior Pastor Paul Chase was led to respond to the needs of street children who were abandoned and neglected. The NLCOM eventually partnered with the City Government of Muntinlupa to take care of the said children.
Ten years later, super typhoon Yolanda (internationally referred to as Haiyan) overwhelmed the Philippines very hard, especially the regions south of Luzon. Tacloban City in the province of Leyte got hit so hard, people lost their homes and belongings, their lives got terribly disrupted and there were several casualties. The damage was so immense, Tacloban caught the attention of the whole world.
In response to the disaster, Senior Pastor Paul Chase and some volunteers of the church came to Tacloban to provide much needed help. This resulted the creation of a makeshift kitchen at the said city and went on to produce six thousand hot meals daily for school children there.
You must be wondering: how was New Life’s team able to create such a high number of meals every day back then? The answer is this: New Life Alabang partnered with Rev. Kim Beam Kon of Truly Good Friends Foundation from South Korea. The joint effort resulted a feeding program that lasted for a year and led to the establishment of the New Life Community Care Foundation.
Along the way, Senior Pastor Paul Chase envisioned the local church to stand in the gap, step up to meet the need and demonstrate God’s love by responding, reaching out and rebuilding the lives of families and communities in the event of disasters. In times of disaster, New Life church provides manpower to NLCOM to enable it to assist victims.
The Foundation’s program is structured this way: Respond to the immediate needs of disaster victims by providing food, relief goods, medical services and executing rescue operations. Reach out with their pro-active volunteers who engage in raising awareness and increasing the knowledge and skills of families, churches and communities on preparing them for disasters and teaching them how to respond during those times. Rebuild by helping the victims by means of clearing the debris, providing shelter kit materials and assisting families and the local communities in the repair and reconstruction of the properties that got damaged from the disaster.
Let me end this post with these three scriptures from the Holy Bible.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6: 10 (NKJV)
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.
Romans 15: 1-2 (NKJV)
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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation,NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from John Chicano by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
A Chat with 2019 SEA Games Gold Medalist and Southeast Asia’s Triathlon King – John Chicano
Since he first participated in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2017, John Leerams Chicano raked in notable honors for the Philippines and took his career in the multisport of triathlon (swim-bike-run) even higher.
Today, Chicano is one of the highest-ranking members of the National Team of triathlon and this past December, he won the gold medal in the men’s triathlon event of the 2019 SEA Games that was held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (so close to his native Olongapo City). With that big victory, he established himself as Southeast Asia’s newest triathlon king replacing Nikko Huelgas (2015 and 2017 SEA Games gold medalist). It was also the big reward for the long road (about a decade) he literally took engaging in multisport events like triathlon and duathlon.
Recently I met Chicano and had a nice chat with him.
For you, my readers, here is a look at 3-time SEA Games medalist John Chicano.
A quick look at his background
John Chicano has been engaging in triathlon for many years now and has been a member of the Philippine team along the way. He represented the country in many events of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), most notably the annual Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT). He also raced in other triathlon events organized by Bike King Philippines and other race organizers. On livelihood, he previously worked as a bike mechanic as well as a janitor. He now has his own family to support.
When it comes to triathlon at the SEA Games, he made his debut in the 2017 edition of the games held in Malaysia and won the silver medal in the individual men’s triathlon event next to teammate Nikko Huelgas who won the gold medal back then (note: Huelgas first won the SEA Games gold in 2015). His achievement was recognized by the media and the national government which in turn rewarded him (along with all other medalists) with cash incentives in accordance to Republic Act Number 10699.
Winning the SEA Games gold medal at Subic Bay
On the early morning of December 1, 2019, the SEA Games men’s triathlon event started with Chicano and Cebu-based teammate Andrew Kim Remolino representing the nation. After going through the pressure and enduring the pain of the 1.5 kilometer swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run event, Chicano won the gold medal in 1 hour, 53 minutes and 26 seconds. Remolino followed with 1:55:03 to win the silver medal, completing the 1-2 punch for the Philippines.
“We were confident in the sense that we prepared well for the SEA Games which includes three months of training at Clark,” Chicano said. “While I was confident to win, there were a few moments of uncertainty since the big competition (men’s triathlon) could turn out to be unpredictable.”
During the December 1 event, Chicano and Remolino raced together during the 40-kilometer bike leg and on the spot they came up with a new strategy to win gold and silver. At that particular stage, another foreign competitor biked near them. Earlier in the swim leg, Remolino was the first to emerge from the sea while Chicano was 4th (an Indonesian and a Singaporean were slightly ahead of him). During the 10-kilometer run leg, Chicano and Remolino built up their lead as a country and, ultimately, he gave it his all to win the gold, literally upgrading from silver (2017 SEA Games). The victory was witnessed by the top sports officials, the coaches, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials, the spectators, corporate sponsors and, of course, Chicano’s family.
“It was a very happy moment for me to cross the finish line for the gold medal. I even felt like crying for happiness back then,” Chicano recalled the very moment he won the gold and became Southeast Asia’s best. “This was the big payback for almost ten years of effort racing in triathlon and growing to be stronger and more competitive. My triathlon effort and build-up started in 2010, preceded by biking in 2009. The feeling was so tremendous and happy.”
During the medal awarding ceremony, Chicano thought deeply about his SEA Games achievement and that he could bring further honors to the nation (plus his locality) in the years to come. The day after that, Chicano and teammates Remolino, Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgroe got tremendous spotlight together in the national newspapers which was expected considering their victorious achievements.
His SEA Games gold medal achievement not only raked in praise from many, financial rewards also came in from the national government (RA 10699), the City Government of Olongapo, corporate sponsors and other generous parties. Chicano even got to visit the Philippine Senate and met with Senator Richard Gordon.
As of this writing, Chicano is strongly focused on triathlon and he believes that what he achieved so far as a triathlete, and also as Southeast Asia’s best male triathlete, will be remembered for a long time and perhaps inspire the next generation of Filipinos to excel in sports.
When it comes to the near future, Chicano will go to Australia very soon to attend the Annual General Meeting and Awards Night of the FilOz Triathlon Club as their Guest Speaker. After that, he will undergo triathlon training for a few more weeks there in Australia.
From this point on, I recommend you all to take a close look at Chicano in triathlon events both local and overseas. He is, after all, Southeast Asia’s reigning triathlon king.
Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from Kim Mangrobang by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
Meet Southeast Asia’s Reigning Triathlon Queen – Kim Mangrobang!
When triathlon (swim-bike-run) made its debut in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in late 2005 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone here in the Philippines, Marion Kim Mangrobang was still a teenager who witnessed the event as a spectator. Already a junior-level member of the Philippine triathlon team, she naturally cheered for her older teammates Ani De Leon and Sandra Araullo who represented the nation in the first-ever SEA Games triathlon event for women.
Fast forward to December 1, 2019, Mangrobang represented the Philippines in the 2019 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event (her 3rd SEA Games since 2015) which was also held at Subic Bay and, more notably, won the gold medal in front of a large cheering crowd (with coach Ani De Leon – Brown, the other Philippine team coaches, officials of the Philippine Sports Commission, PHISGOC and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority plus other important personalities watching near the finish line) followed by her teammate Kim Kilgroe who copped the silver.
As far as the SEA Games records go, Mangrobang won a total of four medals since her debut in 2015, specifically 3 gold medals (the first gold won in 2017) and 1 silver medal (won in 2015). In retrospect, her gold medal victory at Subic Bay was a successful defense of her gold medal achievement in the 2017 SEA Games which essentially established her as Southeast Asia’s reigning triathlon queen.
That being said, I am very happy to present to you my feature interview of Kim Mangrobang which starts right now.
Kim Mangrobang’s background
Mangrobang was born in Sta. Mesa, Manila, in 1991 to parents Richard (an engineer) and Dine (a manpower firm executive). Since the age of four, her family has been living in Santa Rosa, Laguna which is now a progressing city south of Metro Manila.
Mangrobang got into the sport of swimming as a result of her parents’ encouragement for her when she was little. She found sports to be an enjoyable pastime.
“As with most other parents, my mom and dad encouraged me to get into sports during the summer season when I was young. So I joined a swim team and along the way I felt I was playing given the aquatic aspect of swimming,” she recalled. “My teammates and I had fun with swimming and later I realized that swimming would be a serious form of competition.”
At the age of nine, she started swimming and eventually it became a daily part of her life similar with her teammates. As an elementary student, she continued swimming and eventually she became a varsity swimmer in her high school days (with the goal of making it in the Palarong Pambansa) and participated in many swimming competitions (between local sports clubs).
Being a member of her school’s swim team and of a separate swim club, Mangrobang learned a lot about competitive swimming related to national sports and inter-club competition. Along the way, she had to deal with a certain disadvantage of hers – her height.
“I really was a short girl back then. When I was twelve, my swimming coach noticed my height disadvantage and he figured out that it would be more helpful if I would try out with the Philippine team of triathlon,” she said.
That coach turned out to be none other than Abelardo “Abet” Alon-Alon who was a former national champion in triathlon as well as a former national team coach in the said sport. Historically, Alon-Alon was a standout in Philippine triathlon’s early years back in the 1990s His suggestion to Mangrobang to get into triathlon and into Philippine multisport turned out to be a blessing for her and the nation.
She immediately took part in a tryout (for the Philippine triathlon team) which was composed of a 1.5 kilometer swim and 3-kilometer run. Her swim time was 27 minutes and 36 seconds while she timed around 12 minutes in the run. She qualified and her membership with the Philippine triathlon team started on the junior (youth) level.
“That was the start of my new journey in sports and I realized that there were better opportunities in triathlon,” she recalled.
Triathlon career and rise in prominence
Gradually Kim Mangrobang redeveloped herself athletically under the guidance of triathlon coaches like Raul Cuevas (now heading race organizer Bike King Philippines), Peter Gonzales and Abet Alon-Alon to name a few. As she maintained her swimming, she learned to bike and run gaining valuable skills and experience. Before participating in triathlon, she engaged in aquathlon (swim-run) events.
At age thirteen, she took part in a Fit-and-Tri event for youth finishing 6th overall in a short distance aquathlon race held in Ayala Alabang Village. She finished 2nd to the last back then as she was still getting oriented. She went on to join a lot more aquathlon events later.
Her first-ever triathlon performance happened in another Fit-and-Tri event some time later. In that race, she finished 6th place. In further triathlon events, she gradually made her way up until reaching 1st place.
“To the best of my memory, I finished at around 4th place overall during the first year of competing in the Fit-and-Tri series. In the following year, I reached 1st place overall. Emerging 1st became normal for me in the years that followed, until I reached the age of fifteen or sixteen,” she recalled.
In 2006, Mangrobang joined the Junior Elite race of the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and finished 2nd. That event was her first time to compete with foreign triathletes her age and instead of feeling intimidated, she performed well and still enjoyed the experience. Her value as a member of the Philippine team grew more. That same year, she raced in the Asian Duathlon Championships held in Clark finishing 4th in the Junior Women contest.
At age seventeen, Mangrobang tested herself in a Standard Distance (1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) event during the 2008 Subic Bay ASTC Long Distance Triathlon event and won the bronze. Ahead of her were LC Langit (gold) and Monica Torres (silver).
In May 2009, Mangrobang finished 10th in the Elite Women contest of that year’s SUBIT clocking 2 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds (2:32:45). In the years that followed, she kept on representing the Philippines in the Elite Women contests of not only SUBIT but also in other triathlon events of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) that were held around the world. No matter how tough the field of competition was, the Santa Rosa triathlete kept focusing and persevering on doing her best and improving herself.
In the 2016 edition of SUBIT (2016 Subic Bay NTT ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup) held at Subic Bay, Mangrobang emerged as the Elite Women champion followed by her teammate Kim Kilgroe and Hong Kong’s Kate Rutherford. She timed 2:10:40 and won several ITU qualifying points in return. For the Philippines, it was a rare gold medal victory in the history of SUBIT which has often been dominated by foreign triathletes. The said victory was also proof that Mangrobang’s overseas training (under the guidance of Portugal-based coach Sergio Santos) paid off nicely. To this day, her training in Portugal continues.
Mangrobang also achieved great honor for the nation in non-triathlon events. She emerged as the women’s champion in the Lisbon Meia-Maratona Dos Descombrimentos Half Marathon that was held on December 6, 2015 in Portugal. Her victorious performance saw her timing 1:22:40 outclassing 2nd placer Ceu Nunes (1:26:55) and 3rd placer Sofia Mateiro (1:27:34). That particular sports event was noted to be a programmed race to test the fitness of triathletes. It was also a rarity that Filipinos get to race in the said event, which made Mangrobang’s victory even more outstanding.
Triathlon at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
“I was still in high school back then. Me and my family left Santa Rosa at dawn to go to Subic Bay to watch the SEA Games triathlon. I had to take a leave of absence from school since that was a school day and I had to go back to school the very next day,” Mangrobang recalled. “When we arrived, there was already a huge crowd of spectators around the venue. The excitement was really high even before the race started.”
Mangrobang recalled that as a spectator, she felt nervous for the nation and what was at stake just as the individual participants were formally introduced during the pre-race ceremony. Like many others, she could only stand and watch the race unfold from behind the barricades (used for crowd control) and experience bouts of anxiety and nervousness. She cheered for her older teammates Sandra Araullo and Ani de Leon. Araullo went on to win the silver medal while De Leon (now a coach) finished 4th.
“I was really nervous back then as a spectator. Then I said to myself, ‘how much more nervous I would be if I was the one racing for the Philippines in the SEA Games,’” she stated. She added that she noticed the added pressure of participating and literally carrying the nation and the local people’s hope that victory would be achieved. She imagined herself in the future being in such a high-stakes situation.
After almost ten years later, Kim Mangrobang made her debut in the SEA Games (2015) in Singapore as a triathlete. Her teammate back then was Claire Adorna.
“Coaches of TRAP selected who were the best to represent our country in the SEA Games with results required,” Mangrobang recalled. “Based on the results of the time, they saw that me and Claire were the best and we were selected for the games. There were no qualifying races back then, which is different compared to today.”
In the 2015 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event, Claire Adorna and Mangrobang worked together with a strategy to help the former gain a lead early in the event. Adorna raced with a foot injury back then and the team’s focus was to help her (and the nation) build up a good lead in both the swim and bike legs of the race, and ensure victory even if her injury would slow her down in the 10-kilometer run leg. The strategy was a success for the Philippines as the injured Adorna won the gold medal and Mangrobang captured the silver medal. Their respective times were 2:13:08 and 2:14:26. The bronze medal went to Thailand’s Arunsiri Sanruthai who was more than seven minutes behind Mangrobang.
“During the build-up heading to the SEA Games of 2017, there was anxiety and pressure among us teammates mainly because expectations for us to repeat success were so high as a result of what we achieved in the previous SEA Games,” she stated.
To put things in perspective, the Philippines not only repeated its success in the 2015 SEA Games, they exceeded it by having twin gold-and-silver medal victories in both the individual men’s and individual women’s triathlon events in the 2017 edition of the games. On the men’s race, Nikko Huelgas won his 2nd consecutive gold medal while John Chicano added more punch to the victory by grabbing the silver medal. For Mangrobang, that particular event marked her first time to win the SEA Games gold medal.
“It was a very happy moment for me personally because all the efforts and training invested paid off in the best way possible,” Mangrobang recalled her feeling of winning her first gold medal. “A lot of relief followed as all the pressure and nervousness accumulated just vanished and got replaced with the thrill of victory. Naturally, I became very thankful.”
With regards to the 2019 SEA Games, Mangrobang spent a great deal of her time overseas. As she kept training in Portugal (plus a month of training in Mexico), she represented the country in many sports events that were held in other parts of the world for the first eleven months of 2019. As such, she did not spend much time in the Philippines.
Regardless, she won the gold medal of the individual women’s triathlon once more in the latest SEA Games marking her successful defense of her standing as Southeast Asia’s triathlon queen. Her time was 2:02:00. The December 1, 2019 victory at Subic Bay also marked the full turn of life for Mangrobang who went from spectator in the 2005 SEA Games triathlon into Southeast Asia’s best female triathlete fourteen years later at the same freeport.
After winning the two 2019 SEA Games gold medals (individual women and mixed team relay), Mangrobang and her medalist teammates were greeted by lots of local spectators who also expressed their gratitude to them.
“Getting praised and being thanked a lot in return for the victory is normal. It is also a very humbling feeling to see so many spectators rooting for us national athletes to win. Through that experience, I realized there is truth to the 2019 SEA Games tagline of ‘We Win As One,’” she stated.
Mangrobang and her winning teammates (John Chicano, Kim Kilgroe, Kim Remolino, Claire Adorna and Fer Casares) plus members of the coaching staff were nicely rewarded by the national government through Republic Act Number 10699. They formally received their cash incentives in a special ceremony held at Malacanang Palace in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The President jokingly said I resembled a certain past classmate of his from his days as a Grade 5 student,” Mangrobang said recalling her short chat with Duterte as she had her photo session with him at Malacanang. It was her 2nd time to be with the President.
The post-SEA Games buzz did not stop with Duterte. Apart from meeting corporate sponsors and having sessions with some members of the press, Mangrobang was acknowledged by the respective local government units (LGUs) of Santa Rosa in Laguna and Bauan in Batangas through social media.
Bauan claimed Mangrobang as their own since her mother is a native there. After accepting their invitation, she attended the flag raising ceremony at Bauan and was presented by the LGU officials to the locals. They gave her a certificate of recognition. Mangrobang also attended another flag raising ceremony with the Provincial Government of Batangas (headed by Governor DoDo Mandanas) held in Batangas City.
Aiming High for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
As of now, Kim Mangrobang is aiming to get qualified to represent the Philippines in the individual women’s triathlon event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. With the support of San Miguel Corporation, Nike, Specialized, Oakley, Garmin and the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) and the guidance of coach Sergio Santos, she is now in full training in Portugal and eventually she will be joining several triathlon events (recognized by the ITU) that serve as qualifying races for the Olympics.
According to Mangrobang, there will only be 55 slots for the Tokyo Olympic Games individual women’s triathlon event. The qualifying period will end this coming May and subsequently the final lineup of triathletes racing in the Olympics will be announced.
“I’m very focused now on getting into the Olympics and I’m using whatever energy I have for it,” Mangrobang declared.
Message to the Readers
“When I race, I realize that it is a big responsibility because I become an inspiration to other people and I hope that what I achieved will inspire others to engage in the active lifestyle as that is important. I also hope that once they get into triathlon, they will learn to work hard and train smart.”
Note: My special thanks to Akrotiri restaurant located at Commercenter, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City. Akrotiri really has a nice place (which was great for this feature interview) as well as a fine selection of food and beverages. Those of you who are reading this, I highly recommend Akrotiri.
Las Piñas City to Donate P1 Million to Taal Volcano Eruption Victims
Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar announced recently that the City Government is donating P1 million as financial assistance to the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption specifically those in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Lemery in Batangas. The City Council presided by Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery approved a resolution authorizing the release of P500, 000 to each municipality.
Mayor Aguilar said that “the donation is a gesture of the people of Las Piñas to help the residents of Agoncillo and Lemery rebuild their lives.”
For its part, the Las Piñas City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LPCDRRMO) has initiated a relief drive to provide assistance to the remaining evacuees in the different evacuation centers. The various departments of the city government, national offices based in Las Piñas and non-government organizations have turned over their donations to the LPCDRRMO, the office in-charge of distributing the donated relief goods. Mayor Mel Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery had also donated hygiene kits to the residents of Lemery, Batangas.
City Administrator Reynaldo Balagulan has already notified Mayor Daniel Reyes of the Municipality of the Agoncillo and Mayor Eulalio Mendoza Alilio of Lemery about the donation of the City Government of Las Piñas. The turn- over of the cheque will be held next week.
This was a Press Release issued by the City Government of Las Piñas today for this website.
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The City Government of Muntinlupa proved it has the heart to assist others who badly need help in times of disaster as the local authorities approved big-time relief for the many victims of the recent Taal Volcano eruption.
Firstly, the City Council of Muntinlupa approved on January 14 the Mayor Jaime Fresnedi’s proposal of a P3,000,000 donation for the municipalities of Talisay, Laurel & Agoncillo, Batangas as aide for the victims of Taal Volcano eruption for their recovery and rehabilitation.
Fresnedi called for the public to continue to stand in prayer for the safety of affected families in Batangas and encouraged city residents to participate in donation drives.
Secondly, the City Government sent 3,417 grocery packs and 381 six-liter bottles of water to evacuation centers in coordination with Batangas Incident Command Post in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City on January 15. Muntinlupa Social Services Department head Analyn Mercado confirmed that the said relief packs went to the cities and municipalities of Calaca, Alfonso, Nasugbu, Batangas, Bauan, San Pascual, Balayan, and Sto. Tomas
Relief packs given to evacuees include canned goods, water, rice, sleeping mats, utensils, clothes, and other non-food items. Mercado added that an additional 300 sacks of rice and another 2,828 six-liter bottles of water will be distributed to the evacuees in the following days.
The City Government of Muntinlupa is still accepting any kind of donations at Muntinlupa Resiliency Building (Hall of Justice Compound) in Brgy. Tunasan or Annex Building, Muntinlupa City Hall.
To donate, the public may coordinate with SSD at (02) 8861 6223 and may look for Ms. Analyn Mercado.