2011.09.28
The 1st Philippines Wrestling Showcase at Vallejo, California, USA

By: Jason A. Guiducci

[Middle School Photo]

Front Row: Kneeling (from left to right):
Shelly Avelino, Riley Boutain, Nicole Bonifacio, Kristeen Duculan, Jennifer Carino, Deja Ramos, Cami Ann Pascua, and Jasmine Capiral.

Back Row: Standing (from left to right):
Vincent Abena, Arovan de Guzman, Lysander Mahilum, Mason Boutain, Charles Hapa, Valerie Franco, Briana Dulay, Jamie Carino, Jasmin Labra, Jessa Mae Huerta, and Joanne Cabanlit.

Not Pictured: Jamie Luke, Henly Mae Solar, Alicia Cordero, Raizel Padilla, and Alanna Cuevas.

Congratulations to all the winners, participants, and organizers of the 1st Philippine Wrestling Showcase at Vallejo, California!


INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

Springstowne Lady Wildcats Jasmine Capiral, Joanne Cabanlit, and Alumni Referee Brenda Luke were featured in the Vallejo-TImes Herald photo by Mike Jory at the Inaugural Philippines Wrestling Showcase.

The Philippines Wrestling Showcase came to life on September 28, 2011 in Vallejo, CA when the Springstowne Wildcat Wrestling Academy hosted the Inaugural event. It began to take shape in the Summer of 2011 when Springstowne Wrestling Coach Jason A. Guiducci and Albert Balde, President of the Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP), corresponded via e-mail. Vallejo, whose population of 120,000 residents, is home to over 30,000 Filipinos and many have taken to the sport of wrestling such as Mark Muñoz, who is currently making waves in the UFC as the "Philippine Wrecking Machine."

With these things in mind, Guiducci and Balde both agreed on the idea of the Philippines Wrestling Showcase. The mission of the Goodwill exhibition per the Springstowne website is ...

... to promote wrestling in the Philippines by showcasing the Fil-Am talent we have here in the United States. Through modern technology via YouTube, we hope to inspire the growth of wrestling in the Philippines as well as to allow the Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) to scout our talent ...

... While Guiducci recruited talent to fill out the middle school portion of the event, he enlisted two alumni from the Springstowne program, Jeremiah Esguerra and Michael Lim to bring in high school and collegiate talent.


Forty-two wrestlers participated in the event including nine who were born in the Philippines. The remainder either had parents or grandparents who were natives of the Philippines. Amongst the talent were wrestlers from the dominant Springstowne Academy program in the middle school class and a multitude of California State Qualifiers in the High School/Open Class.

Some key names were Julie Gonzalez who placed 4th in the 2004 US Olympic Trials, Ahmed (Ricky) Abdelaziz; a rising MMA prospect, Raniel Buenviaje; a member of the US Air Force, who will leave shortly to train for the All-Air Force team in Idaho and Josef Delavega; a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor.

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