Mr. & Ms. Sinulog Muscle Wars 2023, one of the World Fitness Federation (WFF) Philippines’ first bodybuilding events of the year, kicked off Friday night in Cebu City.
Harson Dale Natividad, Ralph Andrew Labaton, and Elina Stokes were crowned overall champions at the event, which took place in the Mediterranean Room of the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Lahug.
Their performances cement their spots among the federation’s pro card holders. A pro card is issued to an eligible competitor by the WFF, allowing him or her to compete in professional bodybuilding competitions.
According to WFF Philippines president and event chief judge Rogelio Bejemino Jr., these athletes will also represent the country at international WFF events.
Family, friends, and fans of the contestants flocked to cheer on their favorite competitor, yelling and screaming every time they strutted their sculpted physiques on stage until the final winners were announced.
Dr. Dhin Desabille and Dr. Marian Ibon of IDC The Medical Dental Society, along with representatives from the Talisay City Eagles Club Cebu, presented cash prizes and pro cards to the winners and overall champions.
Raven Alcoseba, Southeast Asian Games 2022 bronze medalist and emerging triathlon queen, Sheen Marie Torres, figure model, WFF Pro Athlete and 14-time bikini champion, Rylz Obispo, bikini pro athlete and event head organizer, presented the women with their awards and congratulated them on their achievements.
The audience was treated to spectacular intermission performances by Cebu Flame Artists and Disco Jammers (Cebu Best Dance Crew).
Marwin Batinga, WFF World Champion and pro athlete who is also one of the event’s judges, performed an exhibition before the announcement of the pro card winners, flexing to music with a little dance thrown in for entertainment.
President Bejemino said the show was fantastic, especially since many fans stayed up until 10 p.m. to watch the athletes receive their awards.
“We’re rebuilding and growing stronger,” explained Bejemino. “We’ve planned a year’s worth of events to encourage and support more athletes who want to advance and excel in their fitness careers.”
The one-day national competition featured more than 50 bodybuilders from all over the Philippines, with cash prizes, trophies, medals, and supplements sponsored by Wise Choice Supplements, Smarties Apparel, The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Cebu Mantawi Lady Eagles, Talisay City Eagles Club, Royal Danzk, and Merakini Sparkle.
Well-known professional athletes and fitness industry experts judged the ten categories: Marwin Batinga, Dhon Kiamco, Josephine Teria, Kristoff Amores, Dr. Scott Jahn, Stanly Inso, Sheinie Foster, and Sheen Marie Torres.
Among the categories that were competed include Bermuda Beach Model (Men’s New Comer, Natural, Open Short, Open Tall), Sports Model (Women’s), Jeans model (Men’s), Men’s Body Building (Below 70kg), Men’s Body Building (Above 70kg), Women’s Bikini New Comer, Women’s Bikini Open.
To see the complete list of winners, go to the WFF Philippines Facebook page.
The event was hosted by Borgie Cabigas, a former Mr. Cebu, Kapamilya host, and fitness athlete.
Bejemino closed the event by thanking all of the sponsors for helping to make the event a successful launch for the federation’s upcoming events. He also invites everyone to look forward to the next Mr. & Ms. Philippines 2023, which will take place on July 1st in Makati City, and during which the federation will award eight pro cards to deserving athletes.