Four members of Team Lakay were feted in the 5th Philippine Martial Arts Hall Of Fame at the Casa Ibarra inside the Mall Of Asia in Manila on Monday, 29 April.
Head coach Mark Sangiao, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, and former ONE World Champions Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon received the Sinag Tala Award given annually by the governing martial arts body.
The team was honored for their exemplary performance in representing the country on the global stage through ONE Championship, where they won four mixed martial arts World Titles in 2018.
For Folayang, he is just thankful their work for Philippine mixed martial arts is being appreciated.
“I’m just happy because this is the fruits of our labor. They’re beginning to see what we’re doing in the world of martial arts,” he stated.
The PhilMaHof was founded in 2012 by the late Garitony Nicolas, who was known as the founder of Modern Arnis Filipino Martial Arts.
That’s why Folayang is even more grateful to see an award-giving body which recognizes both traditional Filipino Martial Arts and professional mixed martial arts.
“This is very important because you see your fellow athletes, from different disciplines, appreciate what we’re doing for the country,” he shared.
This is not the first time they were feted in 2019.
Last February, they were honored by the Philippine Sportswriters Association, the oldest running media organization in the country.
With the way Team Lakay continues to pick out talents and create World Champions, it certainly will not be the last set of awards they will be receiving. Fans should expect more in the future.
“Of course, this becomes a motivation to do more and to set a better example as an athlete,” Folayang said.
“Knowing that there are a lot of people rooting for us, it would only motivate us in the future to give out inspiring performances.”