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Filipino triathletes find new home in the south

Joining Vermosa Estate Head Jay Teodoro (third from left) and Sante International Chief Executive Officer Joey Marcelo (third from right) at the contract signing are Ayala Land Inc. officials Rico Manuel and Malou Chiong and Sante International officials Minerva Carag and Ericson Maranan. Philstar.com/EC Toledo

MANILA, Philippines — Once a small community of athletes, triathlon in the Philippines is now experiencing a boom. More and more Filipinos are getting into the swim-bike-run sports, whether to just enjoy, compete professionally, or both.

For celebrity triathlete Kuya Kim Atienza, a factor in triathlon’s growth here is the “information superhighway” brought about by the internet.

“This is mainly because of the information superhighway. People know that ‘Health is wealth.’ It used to be a cliché, it is still, but it’s a truth that people stick to nowadays because mainly they know the consequences of a bad lifestyle,” he told Philstar.com.

“There’s a boom in the triathlon scene in the Philippines. In the 90s, ang usong sport ay golf, ngayong 20th century, talagang triathlon na,” Kuya Kim confirmed.

Vermosa Sports Hub, thus, is coming in at the most opportune time. As the core of Vermosa estate, it features an Olympic-size swimming pool, an IAAF-certified track oval, and lengths of bike trails in and outside the property located along Daang Hari Road in Imus, Cavite.

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“Whenever we at Ayala Land start to develop an estate, there has to be a story. In the case of Vermosa, it’s really about healthy and active living. And we came up with the Vermosa Sports Hub initially for triathletes,” said Jay Teodoro, Vermosa Estate Head, in an interview.

A one-stop sports facility

With Filipino triathletes in mind, Vermosa Estate aims to give them a complete training experience at the Vermosa Sports Hub. To do so, it partnered with Sante International, the barley authority company with its own triathlon team, in putting up the Sante Fitness Lab.

Vermosa Estate and Sante International executives officially signed the agreement on October 23 at The Blue Room in Ayala Exchange Plaza in Makati City.

“The fitness lab will cater to people who really want to strengthen their muscle and train for their race,” Santa International CEO Joey Marcelo told Philstar.com.

Aside from strengthening and conditioning services, the facility also has a rehab department open to those who are injured and those who want to prevent injuries.

“Because a lot of times, for a triathlete, bago ka ma-injure, honestly alam na ng mga rehab experts natin ‘yan. They can feel your muscles that are already tightening and needed to be released,” Marcelo explained.

Marcelo added that Sante Fitness Lab will be a one-stop-shop sports facility complete with a nutrition bar and a multi-sports shop. 

Triathletes’ dream-come-true

A triathlete himself, Marcelo is excited about the Vermosa Sports Hub project, saying it is rare to see a facility with a 50-meter, Olympic-sized pool.

“That’s a triathlete’s dream: To have a 50-meter pool nearby. Before, there was only Ultra (or the Philippine Sports Arena Pasig), but it opens at 8 am so we cannot train before going to work,” Marcelo said.

For Kuya Kim, it's his cycling demands that will be answered by Vermosa Sports Hub. “It’s very hard to cycle in Manila roads nowadays mainly because of traffic so you really have to go to the south. This is very good because Vermosa is in the south. Actually, we saw this property way before when it was still undeveloped. We would cycle to Tagaytay, Amadeo, Naic. That really is the route where cyclists go for a long ride, meaning 100-kilometer rides.”

Teodoro of Vermosa affirmed this. “We noticed that Daang Hari was already an established destination for triathletes who are either training or just biking to Cavite or Tagaytay. So we saw an opportunity to tap the triathlete market there.”

Kuya Kim summed it up best: “To have something like this right on the route of the cyclists, malaking bagay. May pool ka na, may track ka pa, may gym at restaurant pa!”

Vermosa Sports Hub will be launched in December and be fully operation by early 2018. It is located inside Vermosa, a 700-hectare estate developed by Ayala Land Inc. It will be a mixed­-used project with residential, retail and business spots. With Vermosa Sports Hub at the heart of it, the estate promotes an active and sustainable lifestyle among Filipinos. 

For more information, visit http://vermosa.ph

 

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