Legarda lauds Antique’s Larry Apolinario for dominating 2023 PH National Trail Running Championships

March 21, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda commended Larry Apolinario, a native of Iraynon Bukidnon community in Barangay Capnayan, Municipality of Laua-an, Antique, after becoming the champion of the first-ever Philippine Trail Running Association (PHILTRA) national championships held last February 26, 2023 at Bontoc, Mountain Province.

“I commend Larry’s strength, determination, grit, and perseverance for remaining steadfast in his pursuit of a professional trail running career despite several of life’s challenges,” Legarda said as she sponsored Senate Resolution No. 547 filed on March 14 to recognize Apolinario’s exemplary performance.

The Resolution stated that the “recent accomplishment by Apolinario is an inspiration to all aspiring marathoners in the country especially those of the Province of Antique and the country’s indigenous peoples’ communities as it demonstrates that with passion, hard work, determination, and perseverance, one can excel in their chosen sport.”

It furthered that it showcases the growing talent of Filipino athletes who have demonstrated their skill and excellence in various sports on local and international stage.

“It is imperative that unwavering recognition, support, and assistance be given to all our athletes to ensure their welfare and competitiveness, whether they compete in local or international competitions, to continuously develop the prowess of our athletes and illustrate that Filipinos are world-class athletes,” said the Resolution.

Larry is the seventh child among eleven children of a modest family. He is currently a 1st Kagawad of his barangay, a farmer, a part-time motorcycle driver or a “habal-habal” driver, and is a local guide for mountaineers and tourists going to the Mt. Igmatongtong, which is a beautiful hiking destination located in Brgy. Capnayan, Laua-an.

His first race was the inaugural Tracing Iraynon-Bukidnon Trail (TIBT) in 2017, where he finished only minutes before the champion.

After the 2017 TIBT, Larry gradually dominated the local and international trail running scene by winning several championships, garnering multiple awards, and breaking course records.

Just last year, Larry was able to compete in his first international trail running competition that was conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In his interviews, Larry would express his sincere desire to bring pride to the Philippines, but especially to his home province of Antique and his Iraynon-Bukidnon community.

“The Iraynon-Bukidnon community is one of the local indigenous communities in the province of Antique. As a proud Antiqueño myself, I am truly delighted by Larry’s success and sense of origin. I have also supported and long advocated for the welfare and continual support of my fellow Antiqueños and its IP communities,” said Legarda, sponsor of Republic Act No. 10689, which declared August 9 of every year as National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Twenty six-year old Apolinario led the all-star roster of the country’s best runners after finishing the 3,000-meter trail marathon.

He will be part of PHILTRA’s national development team, from which a pool of runners would be selected as the Philippines’ representatives at the World Mounting Running Championships to be held on June 6-10, 2023, in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria.

“As exhibited by Larry, Filipinos have a huge potential in dominating the international trail running scene. He not only serves as an inspiration to his community but also to all Filipinos, especially the Indigenous Peoples community, to continuously aim for their dreams and to believe in their full potential,” remarked Legarda. (end)