Juliana Mykahil Candelaria, an Igorot Taekwondo prodigy and considered the "Best of the Best" in the World, just won a Gold medal at the recent GOYANG 2022 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships held in Goyang, South Korea.
Candelaria, who began her career in 2016, trains at Apex Tigers Martial Arts in New Jersey, under the guidance of Team USA coach Master Giduk Kwon. She also practices freestyle Taekwondo with Coach Jeordan Dominguez, another world-class Igorot Taekwondo practitioner from La Trinidad, Benguet.
Born and raised in Illinois, USA, Juliana is a 2-time USA National athlete in both Poomsae and sparring. She started Taekwondo when she was just 7 years old and has won gold in several major National and International competitions since then.
Her recent big win was the World Championships in South Korea, where even though it was her first time joining such an event, she made history as the first Cadet US national athlete to bring home a gold medal.
The event was only held every 2 years but it was worth it as she was able to hang out with all the members and instructors of the Philippine Taekwondo Team, including her freestyle coach Jeordan Dominguez.
Candelaria is currently ranked Number 1 in the USA in the world-class cadet division.
Juliana's parents Dennis and Janie are from Baguio City. She is the great-granddaughter of former Baguio City mayor Jaime Bugnosen, born in Kayan in Tadian, Mountain Province to parents who were both public school teachers and resettled in Mankayan, Benguet.