dominate 11th Olango Challenge in Cebu
May 9, 2018
CEBU CITY –
Twenty-year-old Jux Keaton Solita and 15-year-old Raven Faith
Alcoseba were declared 6-kilometer competitive champions during the
11th Olango Challenge organized by Philippine Business for Social
Progress (PBSP) and Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) in Cebu last
Solita, a student of
University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, bested his
contemporaries, including Cebu elites Alfred Latrell Pacabis and
Michael Ichiro Kong, with a time of one hour, twenty-three minutes,
and 15.56 seconds.
Alcoseba, on the other
hand, thwarted former champion Karen Mae Indaya’s chance of a
three-peat by besting the 6-kilometer competitive female swim in
1:33:13.87. Seventeen-year-old Indaya, meanwhile, finished second
with 1:36:58.37, followed by Erica Lukang, 23, with 1:37:59.88.
For the 6-kilometer
competitive male swim, Batangueno Ron Villamor, 16, came second with
one hour, 24 minutes, and 17.69 seconds, while fellow UST swimmer
Allen Miranda finished third with 1:24:30.60. This is the first
Olango challenge that featured 6K competitive male winners not
hailing from Cebu.
Meanwhile, Charles James
Lipura (53:33.02) and Justine Garrido (1:02:46.28) took the 3K
competitive male and female titles while Renz Corbin emerged as the
3K fun champion with 53 minutes and 49.02 seconds. Kevin Alvarez and
Jose Antonio Aboitiz had a 1-2 finish in the 6K fun side with a time
of 1:00:29 and 1:04:28, respectively.
Around 130 swimmers
participated in the country’s premier open water swimming event
organized for the benefit of senior high school students on Olango
The Olango Challenge
follows the format of the open water swim category of the Beijing
Summer Olympics in 2008 and will feature the competitive men’s and
women’s 6K and 3K divisions; and the 6K, 3K, and 1K fun categories.
Swimmers navigated a rectangular race course fronting Pacific Cebu
Swimming for classrooms
It was the first time for
14-year-old Francexianour Travero to join the 6-kilometer
competitive swim of the Olango Challenge, making him the youngest
swimmer of the category. In spite of having previous experience in
other open water swimming events, he finds the Olango Challenge the
most challenging because of the distance and the current, making his
finish one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.
“What also makes it
special is the idea that I, a 14-year-old, was able to contribute to
students like me,” he said.
Travero is joined by his
uncle and friends from Leyte’s Energy Development Corporation, who
have been supporting the event since last year.
and government agencies helped ensure the safety and success of the
event. Officers and rubber boats from the Navy were deployed while
the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary provided 14 marshals around the
racecourse. A combined 30 lifeguards from the Philippine Red Cross-Lapu-lapu
Chapter and PSI, 18 paddler-marshals from Island Buzz Philippines
SUP and Kayak Adventures, and 10 divers from Kapit Sisid Free Divers
also served as marshals of the event.
Doctors and nurses from
the Cebu Provincial Health Office as well as paramedics and
ambulance unit from the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation were also
present. Fifteen radio communicators from the Kabalikat CVCOM,
meanwhile, ensured the smooth coordination between the safety teams.
Launched in 2008, the
event has gathered over 900 swimmers and raised more than P15
million to fund nine classrooms in Candagsao, Caw-oy, Tungasan, and
Talima elementary schools on Olango island.
It also supported the
senior high school education of 190 students from Sta. Rosa and
Nemesio-Epifania Memorial National High Schools through the
provision of shielded metal arc welding equipment, sewing machines
for dressmaking classes, immersion uniforms, assessment fees for
national and technical vocational certifications, and monthly
allowances for the students.
This year, the proceeds
from the swim meet will be used to provide laboratory equipment for
more schools on the island.
The event is sponsored by
Aboitiz & Company, Dow Chemical Philippines, Inc., Oriental Port &
Allied Services Corporation, Mactan Enerzone, the Visayan Electric
Company, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., City Savings Bank, FINIS,
GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, TMX Philippines, Inc.,
MEDICard Philippines, PASAR Corporation, Monde Nissin Cebu,
Philpacific Insurance Brokers And Managers, Inc., Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company, Pocari Sweat Philippines, Golden Prince
Hotel & Suites, SM Investments Corporation, Cebu Trip Rent-A-Car,
Scotty’s Dive Shop, All Flip Flops, Boyla Diving Resort, Wellmade
Motors & Development Corporation, Castle Peak Hotel, and San Miguel