Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino led the inauguration ceremony for the Tagaytay City Combat Center on Thursday, signaling what could be the world-famous tourist destination’s gradual transformation into the country’s multi-sport hub.
The former Tagaytay City multi-purpose arena was fully rehabilitated into a combat center that would cater to martial arts including taekwondo, karate, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, vovinam, boxing, arnis, wrestling, muay, among others.
The dome-shaped facility on Crisanto M. de los Reyes Avenue is adjacent to the Tagaytay City BMX Park, which hosted the Asian BMX Racing and Freestyle Championships only two weeks ago, and the Skateboard Park — both international-standard facilities.
“I am happy to announce that, I think, we’re the first LGU [local government unit] to have a facility like this one,” Tolentino, also head of the PhilCycling, said during the inauguration where national combat sports athletes who won medals at the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games entertained the packed crowd with demonstrations of their respective sports.
Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Edward Hayco, representing chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann, joined Tolentino in the ribbon-cutting ceremony that had all the makings of a fiesta celebration complete with a drum-and-bugle corps and an enthusiastic local crowd.
Also present in the ceremony were Cavite Vice Governor Athena Tolentino, Tagaytay City Vice Mayor Agnes Tolentino, DMD, Alvin Aguilar (president, wrestling), Jose Malonzo (secretary-general, Vovinam), Alexander Sulit (president, judo), Tongson Rene (secretary-general, arnis), Ferdie Agustin (president, jiu-jitsu) and Atty. Wharton Chan (secretary-general, kickboxing).
Tagaytay City, through Tolentino, has regularly hosted national and international chess tournaments, as well as cycling competitions—including the 2019 Southeast Asian Games—because of its technical terrain with the mystical Taal Volcano and Lake as backdrop.
“Tagaytay will not only be known as the country’s cycling hub, but also the country’s combat sports capital,” added Tolentino, who announced that the country’s first indoor and wooden velodrome would also rise very soon next to the combat center.
The POC chief also announced that an athletes dormitory and hotel will be constructed in the same area known locally as the Tagaytay City Atrium.
He encouraged the combat sports officials to bid for international competitions saying Tagytay City has the available facility, including hotels, restaurants and other peripherals required for global events.