Eduard Folayang: Manny Pacquiao truly cares for the Filipino people

Mark Sangiao, Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio
Mark Sangiao, Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio

Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, in Philippine mixed martial arts is arguably what Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, 40, is in Philippine boxing in terms of influence and popularity. The two sports stars attended the joint National Heroes Day celebration of ONE Championship and Grab Philippines on August 26, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

“Not only is he a sports icon but Manny is also a terrific human being and an amazing public servant who truly cares for the Filipino people,” Folayang stated during the event. “With what he’s given back to the people, even taking money out of his own pocket to help the poor and underprivileged, it’s more than admirable. It’s inspiring, and it’s motivating.”

“Everyone is in good spirits right now,” Folayang added. “It was such an honor to even be in the same room as Manny. He’s an absolute legend in every sense.”

Folayang was with his Team Lakay teammates former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 30, and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, during the event. Also in attendance were Team Lakay head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, 39, ONE Championship senior executive Victor Cui, 48, and Grab Philippines community members.

ONE Championship and Grab Philippines declared Pacquiao as a national hero during the event. Cui, Sangiao, Folayang, Eustaquio and Pacio presented a beautifully framed ONE Championship world title belt to the boxing legend as a commemorative token.

The Team Lakay members, fans and Grab drivers who all came out to see Pacquiao were treated to a world-class evening program. Pacquiao took the time to make a sizable donation to the Jinkee and Manny Heart Foundation, which gives free heart care for children in the Philippines, and donated 1,000 pesos to every Grab driver in attendance, which ended up totaling 1 million pesos overall.

Meanwhile, watch Pacquiao’s most recent fight here:

Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao: Manny Pacquiao is hero, inspiration to us all

Mark Sangiao, Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Victor Cui, Manny Pacquiao
Mark Sangiao, Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Victor Cui, Manny Pacquiao

Team Lakay founder and head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, 39, was with boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, 40, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on August 26, 2019. They attended the celebration of the Philippines’ National Heroes Day organized by Grab Philippines and ONE Championship.

“Manny is such an inspiration to us all,” Sangiao said during the event. “On behalf of Team Lakay, I’d like to thank ONE Championship and Grab Philippines for allowing us to be a part of this event.”

Sangiao attended the event with ONE Championship stars and Team Lakay athletes Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 30, and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23. ONE Championship senior executive Victor Cui, 48, was present, as well.

“Witnessing his career and how he has overcome countless obstacles and constantly defied the odds, Manny motivates us to be the best we can be,” the Team Lakay founder and head coach continued. “He’s a hero for us all. I’m sure everyone at the event was happy to see him there.”

Pacquiao has worked closely with ONE Championship in the past. Along with Grab Philippines, the Singapore-based mixed martial arts organization presented the Filipino boxer with a token of appreciation.

ONE Championship and Grab Philippines declared Pacquiao as a national hero. Sangiao, Eustaquio, Pacio, Folayang and Cui presented a beautifully framed ONE Championship world title belt to Pacquiao as a commemorative token.

A winner of multiple boxing world titles across eight different weight divisions, Pacquiao is has made several records as a boxer. He is the only man in the history of the sport to achieve such a feat.

For the most part, Pacquiao has stayed within the sport of boxing for the majority of his career. He has remained a boxer aside from occasionally dabbling in professional pool, Philippine basketball, acting and even singing.

Moreover, Pacquiao dipped his influence in the sport of MMA on the business end. Watch his most recent boxing bout here:

Honorio Banario: Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao plans efficient, safe training

Honorio Banario (© Alvin Berto)
Honorio Banario (© Alvin Berto)

Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 29, of the Philippines is one of the five Filipino fighters on the “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” card featuring 13 mixed martial arts matches and two Muay Thai bouts. They are all training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines under the tutelage of head coach Mark Sangiao.

“Coach Mark always plans our daily training menu with our efficiency and safety in mind,” Banario said. “Even though there are five of us competing in Manila, we have always been training independently with our partners in the same weight division. We know the pressure coach Mark is feeling with roughly half of his athletes competing on the same night so we also do our part and train diligently.”

ONE Championship will hold “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. In the seventh bout of the evening, Banario will face Dae Sung “Crazy Dog” Park, 26, of South Korea in an MMA bout in the lightweight division.

On January 25, 219, Banario fell to Hawaiian Elite MMA representative Lowen Tynanes, 28, of the United States in the quarter-finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix at “ONE: Hero’s Ascent” at the SM Mall of Asia.

Eyeing a return to the winner’s circle, Banario has been training non-stop to give another great performance in front of his countrymen. With his previous outing serving as a lesson, he vows to showcase his improvements moving forward.

“I find my match with Lowen as somewhat bittersweet,” Banario said. “I did my best in that match but Lowen proved to be the better man that night. He was quick in taking me down and I failed to defend myself on time. I have learned a lot from that match and I will be taking those lessons in my upcoming bout.”

Tynanes, Ariel Sexton, 37, of Costa Rica and Timofey Nastyukhin, 29, of Russia all had to pull out of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix due to injuries. Although Banario has already bowed out of the tournament, he is training efficiently with his stablemates at Team Lakay to avoid any injury under the supervision of Sangiao.

“This is the perfect opportunity for me to win,” Banario shared. “It is unfortunate that great athletes are getting injured and even though I’m out of the tournament, I will be doing my best to win on behalf of them as well as all the fans who are supporting us in my upcoming match.”

Meanwhile, here is Banario, Sangiap and other Team Lakay fighters in a ONE Championship event in 2018:

What Team Lakay means to Danny Kingad

Danny Kingad (© ONE Championship)
Danny Kingad (© ONE Championship)

Danny “The King” Kingad, 23, of the Philippines is gearing up to face Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Reece “Lightning” McLaren, 27, of Australia at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The Filipino mixed martial artist will be one of five athletes from Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines who will see action on the card.

As a young boy, Kingad was a troubled teen treading on the wrong path. During his senior year of high school, he was course-corrected after joining Team Lakay, where he was groomed to become an excellent athlete and a role model.

“Being a member of Team Lakay has played a huge factor in my improvement not only as an athlete but as a human being as well,” Kingad shared. “Prior to joining the team, I knew very little about martial arts apart from the basic kicks and punches. Under the guidance of my coach, I learned proper execution as well as other skills such as grappling, submission wrestling, fluid striking and others.”

“When I was young, I was in a very bad crowd and it had a negative impact on my life,” Kingad continued. “Team Lakay helped me out of that dark place and taught me values like respect and honor, and I generally became a better person.”

Also from Team Lakay, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 35, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 30, and Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 29, are also on the “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” card. Training five athletes simultaneously may seem like an overwhelming task for Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao but the team’s discipline and teamwork makes his job easier and more efficient.

While Kingad does his best to maximize training, he finds some advantages in training in a group setting. He said, “Personally, I think having five of us Team Lakay members competing on the same card is advantageous.”

“Everyone’s always at the gym training and we’re all focused and determined to be in the best condition possible,” Kingad continued. “We know we are all individually responsible for the outcome of our bouts, so we help each other get to where we want to be.”

“At the event, it serves a huge boost to our morale knowing that we have family cheering us on from our corners, no matter the result,” Kingad added. “I can say our bond at Team Lakay is unbreakable.”

Kingad is on the rise and continues to rack up wins. He is only expected to shine brighter in Manila when he performs alongside his Team Lakay brothers in front of their countrymen.

If Kingad is able to defeat McLaren at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes,” the Filipino contender will move on to the final round of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. The other grand finalist will be either Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 32, of the United States or atsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada, 30, of Japan.

Meanwhile, here is an interview with Kingad in 2018: