Press Release
March 21, 2023

Sponsorship Speech of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda
Resolution Congratulating and Commending Larry Apolinario for his Exceptional Performance and Becoming the Champion of the First Philippine Trail Running Association (PhilTRA) National Championships
21 March 2023
Senate of the Philippines

Mr. President,

It is with a deep sense of pride and honor to sponsor the Resolution Congratulating and Commending Larry Apolinario for his Exceptional Performance and for Becoming the Champion of the First Philippine Trail Running Association (PhilTRA) National Championships.

I would like to congratulate Larry Apolinario, a proud fellow Antiqueño and the 2023 champion of the first-ever Philippine Trail Running Association (PhilTRA) National Championships. The Philippine Trail Running Association (PhilTRA) National Championships was held on February 26, 2023, at Bontoc, Mountain Province.

At the age of twenty-six years old, Larry prevailed over the country's elite trail runners and made history as the inaugural champion of the forty-two (42) kilometer mountain marathon that featured a trail course of more than three thousand (3,000) meters of elevation gain. Larry finished the grueling marathon in only five (5) hours, forty-seven (47) minutes, and nine (9) seconds.

Finishing a three-thousand-meter mountain marathon in such an amount of time is not an endeavor of the lighthearted.

Today, 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. Proudly hailing from the Iraynon-Bukidnon community in Barangay Capnayan, Municipality of Laua-an, Antique, Larry started from humble beginnings and has relentlessly persisted to reach his trail running dreams.

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.

Having sponsored Republic Act No. 10689 which declared August 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day, I believe that the recognition and protection of the rights and causes of our IPs are crucial in achieving inclusive growth and genuine nation-building. Our IPs play a vital role in national development, and we must always push for the provision of adequate support to programs that support their growth.

As exhibited by Larry, Filipinos have a huge potential in dominating the international trail running scene. I believe in our athletes' excellence and that is why I did not think twice about helping Larry with his provisions, but we need more government programs that support the development and training of our Filipino athletes and IPs who are active in sports.

Despite Larry's exceptional success, there is still much to be done in order to ensure that more IPs would have access to programs and initiatives to build their strengths and develop their potential. In this way, we would be encouraging and stimulating the careers of the future Larry Apolinarios.

By successfully besting elite trail runners and by entering multiple elite competitions, Larry Apolinario has brought pride and honor to the Philippines, and to the Iraynon-Bukidnon community.

Larry 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.

This afternoon, we celebrate and congratulate the 2023 PhilTRA champion Larry Apolinario. Mabuhay si Larry at maraming salamat!

Thank you, Mr. President.

News Latest News Feed