Team Work and Hard Work Really Pay Off – By Mark “The Machine” Sangiao


It all paid off! After all the hard work in training; the sacrifices of time and effort; the pain, injury, sweat and tears; and even the hunger during the weight cutting…was all worth it.

This time of the year is the hardest part of the year to train since it is the rainy season here in the Philippines. Training outside the gym is limited. We can not have our high-altitude training, we do it then at the gym. This is one of the challenges of training for a fight.

Two of our Team Lakay fighters, Roldan “The Executioner” Sangcha-an and Harold Banario won their respective fights at PXC 39 which was on September 14th at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Harold Banario, a BS in Architecture student at the University of the Cordilleras (UC), was a young fellow who were once just one of the fans of Team Lakay particularly of his older brother Honorio Banario, the current URCC Lightweight Champion and the former ONE FC Featherweight Champion. He once dreamt of joining Team Lakay and fight in the ring or cage.

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Harold Banario caught Adamson Torbiso with a deep armbar (Photo by PXC)

PXC 39 was the moment for Harold especially that it was his first time to set foot at international stage. He had fought in the ring in his previous MMA and Wushu Sanshou fights, but this one was different. I can see it in his eyes. The mixed emotions of eagerness for him to realize his dream, the nervousness and excitement, and the pressure to win since he was the first one to step in the cage after a series of defeats suffered by his team mates – he has to win this fight.

Harold is a young student who always follow what his teacher tells him. By this, he followed every instruction given to him.

He won his bout against his opponent Adamson Torbiso in a very impressive manner. He submitted his opponent via an armbar in the first round. He was so delighted. The plan was executed very well; It was a success.

The second Team Lakay fighter is Roldan Sanghca-an. He is a graduating student of BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City. He is not a newbie in this stage. His memorable bout with Adam Cacay in URCC Baguio V is still in the minds of those who have watched it. He has proven the real warrior in him. Like what his seniors always do, he showed the heart and might of an Igorot warrior; the heart of being a Champion, the heart of being a Team Lakay fighter.

(Photo by PXC)

(Photo by PXC)

Another moment in Roldan’s MMA career which is remarkable, is his fight with the undefeated champion of Kazakhstan, Assulan Toktarbaev. Roldan defeated him and gave him the first loss after his 40 wins in his pro MMA career.

As Roldan stepped inside the PXC cage, the excitement to rumble with his opponent was burning in his eyes. As what I’ve seen in his previous fights, the true heart of a fighter never faded.

Roldan amazed a lot of fight fans that night. It was a good exchange of kicks and punches. At some point of the first round, he was at the defensive side, carefully measuring what his opponent can give. Measuring the strength and capability of his opponent, a great fighter from Laguna, Ernesto Montilla, Jr.

Then came the second round, he gave Montilla a double-leg takedown then he got his back and executed a very deep rear naked choke. It was the moment where Montilla can not do anything but to tap.

Immediately after the tap, Roldan did the Igorot dance, a sign of celebration,  gesture of being so proud to be an Igorot…in an international stage.

This is the beginning of another chapter of Team Lakay’s book. After all the great fight history, the rise and fall, we are proud of what we have achieved. And we plan to keep it going.

At this point, we would like to thank those who have helped us in training such as our teammates, training partners and trainers.






Likewise, thank you to those who have assisted us in Manila, Cacay Baltazar, Perci Diego and Jethro Chungalao.

We want to thank those who have sponsored these two Team Lakay fighters in this particular endeavor: Dante Bagsan Law Office, Vicious Circle, Head Hunting Heritage, Potato Grill, Tiong San Department Store and Supermart, 50’s Diner, Tatak Maharlikano, Dr. John Harold Hiyadan and Dr. Dave Taclobao.

Indeed, with everyone helping and supporting us, we made it.


Wushu Insights by Mark Sangiao


After having the POC-PSC National Wushu Championship 2013 held last May 28-31, 2013 at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila; the Wushu Federation Philippines is going to be busy again these coming months in preparation for the next big event in Asian Wushu.

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The Philippines is going to host the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship to be held at the Makati Coliseum, Makati, Philippines on August 8-11, 2013. This event is going to be attended by Wushu participants from 21 different countries all over Asia.  The Asian Junior Wushu Championship is a competition held every two years and there will be two events in the competition: Taolu and Sanda.

Wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was developed in China. The term wushu is Chinese for “martial arts”. “Wu” means military or martial and “Shu” means art. Taolu and Sanda are the two disciplines of competitive wushu.

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Taolu are the forms and involve martial arts pattern and manoeuvres for which competitors are judged and given points according to specific rules. The forms comprise basic movements such as stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps and throws based on aggregate categories of traditional Chinese martial arts styles and can be changed for competitions to highlight one’s strengths.

One famous celebrity that most people know who practiced Taolu is Jet Li. At the age of 8, he began learning wushu. At the age of 11, Jet Li won his first national championship and as a result, he travelled to more than 45 countries as part of Beijing Wushu Team. In 1974, he became the All-Around National Wushu Champion, a title he held for the five consecutive years.

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He retired from wushu at the age of 19 and went through acting martial arts films which include some of the greatest martial arts films of all times such as the Shaolin Temple, Kiss of a Dragon, Romeo and Juliet, ONE, Hero, Fearless and others. But one can never forget him playing Wong Fei-hung in the two sequels of Once Upon a time in China, where he played the legendary hero who fights against foreigners in this 19th century tale.

Sanda on the other hand, which is also called Sanshou, is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by traditional Chinese boxing,  Chinese wrestling methods and other Chinese grappling techniques. It has all the combat aspects of wushu. Sanda appears much like kickboxing or muay thai, but includes some wrestling techniques.

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This is what we practice. This is what we master. Not everyone knows that Sanda is an all-around combative sport, because it involves striking and wrestling techniques. So all we have to do is add more knowledge from other disciplines to enhance the combinations. We have to add up western wrestling techniques, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Japanese judo and other specialties from different martial arts which originated from other countries. But basically, wushu almost has it all except the grappling aspect.

In connection with Sanda or Sanshou competitions, I am again proud to announce the success of Benjie Rivera, one of a members of the Philippine National Team who is from Baguio and Benguet. He won the Chinese Fighting Championship against his Turkish opponent which was held in Shaanxi, Xian, China last June 14 to 16, 2013. Two out of our five members from the Wushu Philippine National Team won over their opponents. Another win was by Francis Solis from Ilo-ilo defeating his Chinese foe. Jessie Aligaga, Dembert Arcita and Jean Claude Saclag unfortunately all lost to their Chinese opponents.

Photos of Filipino Wushu Fighters who won in the recent

Photos of Filipino Wushu Fighters who won in the recent Chinese Fighting Championship

This win adds to the Wushu-Sanshou record of wins given by our fellow Cordillerans such Mark Eddiva, Eduard Folayang, Rexel Nganhayna, Rolly Chulhang, Jerome Calica, Jerome Lumabas, Roger Chulhang, Jason Domingo, Ronald Bingwaoel, Benito Amado, Michael Humiding, Joel Nganhayna, Joseph Pasiwat, Dare Malecdan, George Lusadan, Erik Kelly,  Mario Bey-agan, Ricky Luken, Mariane Mariano, Rhea May Rifani, Jennifer Lagilag, Dolly Andres and yours truly, among others, who are World, Asian and SEA games medalists.

With all these information, I hope to have shared some of the important insights for our readers to understand more about wushu. We wish to continue letting everybody know about this sport and one of our commitments as Wushu International Judge and Coach and as members of the Wushu Federation Philippines, is to produce quality athletes who can compete among all the best in the sport not only in the country but in Asia and the world. This is what we are training for, aside of course for MMA. This is why we have scholars. To put wushu on the map of competitive sports. This is one reason why we have our Team Lakay Wushu-Xanda and MMA Eliminations and Championships. We hope to produce competitive and quality athletes before we let them step-up to higher competitions.

Our next Team Lakay Wushu Xanda and MMA Championship is going to be on November. So we prepare our athletes for this. Athletes from other gyms from all around the Philippines are welcome to submit their participants if they want to take part in this event. We welcome them to come have a healthy competition with us. As I always say, this is for the benefit of the athletes and for the promotion of the sport and we join everyone who has the same advocacy and dream as ours.

Train With The Best By Mark Sangiao


As we open another chapter of our life as fighters and as a team, we take advantage of this time of the year to start and learn new things to add up to our arsenal in continuing to become the best of what we can be. As we wait of our next endeavors and challenges, we use this time to start learning new techniques while continuing to develop what we already have and sharing it to others who are interested in learning them for themselves and at the same time gaining additional knowledge from those who are already experts in other fields. We take steps little by little and try to explore what is best for us.

 With the opening of some opportunities and invitations from some individuals to share and exchange knowledge with them, we do not hesitate to do so. First, one of our Team Lakay Champions, Honorio Banario, who is the former ONE FC Featherweight Champion and the current URCC Lightweight Champion, is now in Malaysia to cross-train with T-REX Muay Thai and MMA Studio located in Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Mr. Gavin Tan, the CEO of the said gym, invited him to cross-train along with their top caliber instructors of MMA, Muay Thai and Wrestling for one month. With this, we intend to gain, share and interact with different types of disciplines, different types of people and different kind of environment. We hope this move will be successful as we also want our other fighters to follow or do the same at other gyms or organizations, because we believe this is one way of learning – Exploration with sharing.

We are at a chapter where we try to see if what works best for us at our own limitations. We want to make moves one step at a time and hope to have the best results that we can have. Now, speaking of these steps, we are also welcoming this week a former Cyprus wrestling coach to come at our gym in Baguio City and La Trinidad to train and share with us his expertise in this discipline. We will have him train and teach our fighters every weekend for one month then we will see what’s going to happen next. We hope with all these, we will be able to be more developed, gain more knowledge, and add to our skills in becoming complete, well-rounded fighters.  Because we will never cease to learn, we hope to achieve more in life by continuing to learn more things.

 As we go on with the gaining of additional insights and techniques, one of our aims is also to share what we already have. We came up with a new program wherein our fans, students, and members have the chance to train with our Team Lakay champions. We have Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Rey Docyogen, Dave Galera, Crisanto Pitpitunge, Mark Eddiva and Geje Eustaquio available to train those who are willing to be taught by these fighters who are considered to be among the best MMA fighters in the Philippines. They are available to train and teach at any of our Team Lakay gyms. Our Central Gym is located at 3rd Floor of Auyong Bldg, Kayang Street, Baguio City and at our Lakay La Trinidad Gym located at 2nd floor of Caoili Building, at Pine Valley Plaza, Km. 4, La Trinidad, Benguet.

So if you are interested in training with the best and to experience high-altitude training, you are always welcome to visit us at any of our gyms. This is a great opportunity for the fans to have an experience to train with the champions, as well as our regular coaches who are also champions in the making. We hope to share with our fans and students the experiences, the techniques and the attitudes of how to become a champion and as we always share our team motto, we believe that a champion is not born, he is made by the right people such as the coaches and trainers with the proper knowledge and with the people who can teach the proper attitude, background, experience and motivation. Every day in the gym we live by this motto, because indeed, Champions are not born, they are made.

Team Lakay Championship 7 Showcases Top Talents From The Highlands!

team lakay championship 7

The most dominant MMA team in the Philippines is staging another exciting Wushu Sanda and MMA show for the 7th time happening on April 27th at Baguio Convention Center, Baguio City, Philippines.

Click here to watch Team Lakay Championship 7 teaser!

This event, which started three years ago by none other than Team Lakay head coach, Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, has produced some world-class talents who are making huge waves in some of the biggest MMA promotions in Asia today like, Jerome Wanawan, Dario Banario, Troy Bantiag, PXC World Bantamweight Champion, Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, Geje “The Gravity” Eustaquio and Dave “The Scarecrow” Galera.

The production of top talents from the highlands continues as Team Lakay hosts another championship, who will be headlined by Team Lakay’s own, Stephen “Sniper” Loman (2-0) and Fight Works MMA’s, Carlo Laurel. The said match-up will be at 129 lbs.

At 18 years of age, Loman is Team Lakay’s youngest rising prospect. This kid is physically and mentally strong. I’ve personally seen his past fights and I would say that this young lion is going to be the future MMA icon of the Philippines. Next Saturday, April 27th, he will be facing a very tough challenge when he exchange blows with Carlo Laurel.

We got no clue about Laurel, but one thing’s for sure, Fight Works MMA is proven to be the producer of some of the best MMA fighters in Laguna. FWMMA is the home of PXC lightweight contender, Isaiah “Ice” Ordiz, Ernesto Montilla Jr. and Rolando Gabriel Dy. So whenever a fighter comes out of that gym, expect that fighter to be as tough as nails.

Another Team Lakay versus Fight Works MMA match-up is set on April 27th at TLC 7 as Baguio’s own, John Cris Corton takes on San Pedro’s pride, Venson Delopere in a fight where I think, one fighter will get knocked or choked out.

Corton is a world-class Shotokan Karate fighter who has a very good timing and speed behind his strikers. Now that he trains with some of the best fighters at Team Lakay, we can expect a deadly fighter in this kid come fight night. Corton will face a tough challenge as he takes on an uber-talented Delopere.

The youngest of the Banario brothers will also be in action as Harold Banario goes up to face Muay Boran’s Johny Bitaga in a Wushu Sanda rules.

Here’s the complete fight card for Team Lakay Championship 7:

MMA Rules:

Stephen “Sniper” Loman (Team Lakay) vs. Carlo Laurel (Fight Works MMA) – l29 lbs.

John Cris Corton (Team Lakay) vs. Venson Delopere (Fight Works MMA) – 129 lbs.

Sanda Rules:

Harold Banario (Team Lakay) vs. Johny Bitaga (Muay Boran) – 62 kg.

Rizalino Olivar (Team Lakay) vs. Roy Dumar (UB Sanshou Team) – 60 kg.

Danny Kingad (Team Lakay, La Trinidad Gym) vs. Glen Fawagan (UB Sanshou Team) – 54 kg.

Jaime Langwawey (Team Lakay) vs. Miguel Amyao (UB Sanshou Team) – 56 kg.

Lemer Maximino (Team Lakay) vs. Eleazar “Pretty Boy” Mi-ing (Mongoose Team, Bontoc) – 52 kg.

Joshua Pacio (Team Lakay, San Fernando Gym) vs. Wilner “Tafungao” Lizardo (Mongoose Team, Bontoc) – 56 kg.

Ronel Capan (Team Lakay, San Fernando Gym) vs. John Erick Anyab (BSU Muay Boran) – 58 kg.

Edison Dangla (Team Lakay) vs. Steward Osting (UB Sanshou Team) – 63 kg.

Ticket Prices:

300 Php.

150 Php.

Check out Team Lakay’ Official Facebook Page for more info.