CAR dominates in men’s HS wrestling

Justin Jones Notarte
Cordillera Administrative Region wrestling trainer Eliong Gamboc says his athletes victory is not an overnight miracle

WINNING MOVE. CAR’s Ruzzel Tuguinay (on top) pins down his opponent. Photo by Harley Aglosolos/Rappler

TAGUM CITY, Philippines – As high as the highlands of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) was the elation of the region’s wrestlers as they ruled the boys secondary wrestling with two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze on Wednesday, May 6, at Tagum Fundamental Baptist Church Gym.

Defying the excruciating pain of grappling and attempted pins, CAR’s Ruzzel Tuguinay won over Eastern Visayas’ Francisco Arca by maintaining superior position after performing multiple rolls in the 42 kg weight class.

Nathaniel Gullunan added to the gold tally as he won by pinfall in the 58 kg weight class. Kenneth Mang-uhan and Jess Nyolab also showed their prowess in joint locks and pins by winning silver and bronze in 46 kg and 50 kg weight classes, respectively.

Iyong fast feet nila at mahusay na technique ang nagpapanalo sa kanila. Isa narin doon ang disiplina na tinataglay nila (Their fast feet and good technique made them win the game. Their discipline also helped),” CAR wrestling trainer Eliong Gamboc said in an interview after the awarding ceremony. 

Gamboc does not consider this victory as an overnight miracle since their team had to adjust to the hot weather of Davao del Norte by arriving one week before the Palaro games commenced.

“I even spent my own money to finance the expenses incurred in the training since the financial support is not enough,” said Gamboc, adding that their victory is worth all the efforts and sacrifices.

NCR’s lone gold

First-timer Jason Cater grabbed the only gold for the National Capital Region (NCR) by slaughtering Mang-uhan from CAR with a pitfall in the second round of the 46 kg weight class championship match.

Determined to maintain the spot in next year’s Palarong Pambansa, Cater vowed to replicate his perseverance in going through the gruelling training which starts as early as 4 am daily, and involves other investments like enough rest and proper diet.

Sulit talaga ang weight loss ko. Halos mamatay na nga ako sa gutom dahil six days akong walang kanin na kinakain (My weight loss paid off. I almost died from hunger because I did not eat rice for six days),” Cater said. 

Now that he successfully passed through the eye of the needle, Cater encouraged his female counterparts to strive hard and bring NCR’s banner to the peak as they compete in the girls secondary wrestling match on Thursday, May 7. 

Out of the 8 regions that sent delegations to wrestling competitions, Visayas regions also asserted their share of victory as Eastern Visayas sealed one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, while Western Visayas won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

The host Davao Region seized two silver and two bronze medals, while Bicol Region won 3 bronze medals. 

The ongoing Palarong Pambansa is the largest grassroots sporting event in the Philippines that aims to develop the potentials of the youth to become responsible and globally-competitive citizens. –

Justin Jones Notarte, a Grade 9 student from La Filipina National High School, Tagum City, won 2nd Place in the Expanded Collaborative Publishing competition of the 2015 National Schools Press Conference.