Skip to main content »

7 Cordilleran Athletes Shine at San Miguel Corporation-PSA Awards

Seven Cordilleran athletes honored at the prestigious San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards 2024.

 |  3 min read

Seven Cordilleran athletes were honored for their exceptional achievements at the prestigious San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards 2024, showcasing their remarkable talent and dedication.

The San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards, held annually to recognize outstanding achievements in Philippine sports, witnessed a remarkable showcase of talent on Jan. 29 at Diamond Hotel Manila. Among the honorees were seven Cordilleran athletes who exemplified excellence in their respective sports, alongside other distinguished Southeast Asian Games gold medalists from 2023.

Jason Balabal

Cordilleran Athletes: A Testament to Excellence

The spotlight shone brightly on Cordilleran athletes at the awards ceremony, where they were rightfully acknowledged for their stellar performances. Jason Balabal, Kurt Barbosa, Crisamuel Delfin, Jean Claude Saclag, and Claudine Veloso showcased their prowess in wrestling, taekwondo, arnis, and kickboxing, respectively. Their dedication and hard work have not only brought pride to their region but also elevated the stature of Philippine sports on the international stage.

Kurt Barbosa

Asia's First Spartan Champion

Celebrating Cordilleran excellence, Sandi Menchi Abahan, Asia's inaugural Spartan Champion, was recognized alongside teammates Mecca Cortizano, Tess Nocyao, and Mhik Tejares in the Philippine obstacle course racing team. This acknowledgment showcased the talent and dedication of Cordilleran athletes on the global stage.

Building on this achievement, the OCR women's group, led by Sanchi Abahan, Asia's first Spartan Champion, secured a gold medal in the women's team relay at the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. Their victory embodied hard work, discipline, and teamwork, inspiring athletes nationwide. This dual success highlighted Cordilleran athletes' prowess and resilience, marking a significant milestone in Philippine sports.

Claudine Veloso

Historic Achievement: The Filipinas at the FIFA Women's World Cup

A special highlight of the awards ceremony was the recognition bestowed upon the Filipinas, the Philippines women's national football team, affectionately known as the "Golden Lady Booters." Their historic debut at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup captured the hearts and imaginations of fans worldwide. Among the esteemed members of the team is Jaclyn Sawicki, a midfielder with roots tracing back to Buguias, Benguet. Her story epitomizes the diversity and inclusivity of Philippine sports, showcasing how athletes from diverse backgrounds can come together to achieve greatness on the global stage.

A Night of Celebration and Recognition

The awards night was a testament to the remarkable achievements and contributions of individuals, sports groups, and sports officials to the growth and development of Philippine sports in 2023. With a total of 140 honorees, the event underscored the depth of talent and passion within the Philippine sports community. From emerging talents to seasoned veterans, each awardee played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Philippine athletics.

EJ Obiena: Athlete of the Year

Leading the roster of awardees was EJ Obiena, hailed as the Athlete of the Year. Obiena's extraordinary accomplishments, including setting an Asian record by clearing six meters in pole vault and winning a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, solidified his status as one of the world's top athletes. His dedication, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to excellence serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the country.

Summary of Honored Cordilleran Athletes

Name Sport Achievement
Jason Balabal Wrestling Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Kurt Barbosa Taekwondo Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Crisamuel Delfin Arnis Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Jean Claude Saclag Kickboxing Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Claudine Veloso Kickboxing Southeast Asian Games gold medalist
Sandi Menchi Abahan Obstacle Course Racing Recognition as Asia's first Spartan Champion and member of the Philippine obstacle course racing team
Jaclyn Sawicki Football Member of the Philippines women's national football team; 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup participant


The San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards provided a platform to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Cordilleran athletes and their counterparts from across the country. From triumphs at the Southeast Asian Games to historic debuts at the FIFA Women's World Cup, these athletes have not only brought glory to the Philippines but also inspired a generation of future champions. As we reflect on their accomplishments, let us continue to support and celebrate the spirit of excellence in Philippine sports.

Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.

Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.


Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under Sports — or jump to a random article!

Sports Surprise me

Igorot Boxer Hergie Bacyadan Secures Spot in Paris Olympics 2024

Igorot boxer and LGBTQ+ advocate Hergie Bacyadan qualifies for Paris Olympics, achieving her Olympic dream.

Ora in Sports
Jun 2 · 2 min read

Baguio City's Inigo Anton Secures Bronze at International Auto Gymkhana Event

Witness the triumph of Inigo Anton, Baguio City's Igorot racer, as he secures the bronze medal at the international auto gymkhana event.

Apr 27 · 2 min read

Cordilleran Athletes Win Three Gold Medals in International Muay Thai Championship

Cordilleran athletes from Baguio City secure three gold medals in the International Muay Thai Championship, held in Thailand.

Rob in Sports
Mar 20 · 2 min read

The 2nd Tour of Besao: MTB Challenge Winners and Results

Here are the winners of the Tour of Besao MTB Challenge, a thrilling cycling event in the scenic Mountain Province.

Mar 3 · 4 min read

Joshua Pacio Reclaims ONE Strawweight MMA World Title After Controversial Win against Jarred Brooks

Watch Joshua Pacio reclaimed his title in a controversial win against Jarred Brooks at the action-packed ONE 166 event in Qatar.

Mar 1 · 2 min read

Jason Baucas: Igorot Wrestler is Among the Philippines' Elite

Explore Jason Baucas' journey, a decorated Igorot wrestler from Benguet, celebrated among the Philippines' top athletes in the sport.

Feb 20 · 3 min read

Lito Adiwang dominates Danial Williams at ONE Fight Night 19

Watch Lito Adiwang's impressive victory over Danial Williams at ONE Fight Night 19. Witness the Filipino striker dominate in the strawweight division.

Feb 17 · 2 min read

Baguio Athletes Dominate National Age Group Triathlon in Subic

Baguio's Ramos siblings lead the charge in dominating the National Age Group Triathlon in Subic, showcasing the city's dominance in the sport.

Ora in Sports
Feb 3 · 3 min read

Senator Bong Go's Impact on Kalinga Provincial Meet: Championing Sports Development

Discover how Senator Bong Go's support for sports programs elevates Kalinga's Provincial Meet, fostering youth empowerment and athletic excellence.

Jan 26 · 2 min read

Carl Jammes Martin: Ifugao Warrior wins WBO Global Super Bantamweight Title

Carl Jammes Martin won the vacant WBO Global Super Bantamweight title after knocking out the Thai veteran. Aims for Inoue-Tapales match winner next.

Dec 18, 2023 · 2 min read