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Trainer of champion kickboxers fights for life

Aldwin Quitasol



LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – A coach who helped Cordillera fighters raked medals in last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Manila is now fighting for his life at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH).

According to Highland Boxing Gym Brico Santig, 56-year-old Manuel Sanidad suffered a stroke Monday after conducting lessons at the gym at Kilometer 6, La Trinidad.  He collapsed and fell from his chair.

Highland Boxing Gym fighters and Santig rushed the coach fondly called Master Manny to the hospital and remained at the ICU since then.

Sanidad teamed up with Mark Sangiao, Cordillera Regional Coordinator of the Samahan ng mga Kickboxers ng Pilipinas (SKP) coach and Team Lakay founder in training the Philippine squad in their preparation for the 2019 SEAG which led to victory for Team Lakay members Gina Iniong, Jerry Olsim and Jean Claude Saclag.

They hauled three golds, two silvers, and one bronze. The team also went home with two silver medals courtesy of Jerome Balangui and Renz Dacquel and a bronze medal from Karol Maguide.  All are Cordillerans with Baguio and Benguet as their homes.

According to Santig, Sanidad just arrived home after being stranded in Manila for more than five months when enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was declared in Luzon last March due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“Some of our professional athletes (boxers, kickboxers and muay Thai players) are currently taking good care of him at the hospital. Some athletes also volunteered to check on him once in a while,” Santig said. He added that the doctors said that Sanidad has progressive blood clotting in the middle of his cranium.