CARMEN, Bohol, Philippines - Under overcast skies at the home of the world famous Chocolate Hills, the PLDT-ABAP National Amateur Boxing Championship fired off Sunday in this town 57 kilometers north of the provincial capital of Tagbilaran.
Close to 140 boxers from 25 clubs all over the country assembled for the culmination of the year-long elimination tournaments in Luzon/National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao.
Carmen Mayor Conchita Torribio delos Reyes, granddaughter of 1932 Olympics bronze medalist Simeon Torribio, and Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Neri Lim welcomed the participants as well as RP boxing officials led by ABAP president Ricky Vargas, secretary-general Patrick Gregorio and executive director Ed Picson, PLDT AVP Dodie Lucas, and Smart Sports' Epok Quimpo.
''This is what grassroots development is all about. ABAP makes sure we go to the countryside to be able to flush out raw talent that would have otherwise been left unnoticed,'' said Vargas, the Philippine Sportswriters Association 2011 Executive of the Year.
''It's easier for us to go to them than for them to come to us. And were are heartened to see so many who have come out to show their wares. I'm confident we will see a lot of potential here.''