Philippine Ambassador to Britain Enrique Manalo and Deputy Chief of Mission Rey Catapang join Chef de Mission Manny Lopez and the rest of the PHL Olympic Team for a photo in front of one of the It’s More Fun in the Philippines buses in



(LONDON, 23 July 2012) – The Philippine Team to the London 2012 Olympics was feted by Philippine Ambassador to Britain Enrique Manalo during an evening reception at the chancery on Monday, 23 July 2012.  

The team was led by Chef de Mission Manny Lopez and National Olympic Committee administrative coordinator Arsenio Lacson Jr., and included nine of the 11 athletes competing in the Olympics. 

“This is an exciting time for the Filipino nation and an even bigger thrill for the Filipino community in Britain. I know that each and every Filipino will be solidly behind you. You are already winners in our eyes,” exclaimed Ambassador Manalo. 

“Sports have the power to unify and to inspire. The Philippine Government, under the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino III, fully backs the development of sports and the improvement of the welfare of our athletes, in collaboration with local government units and with the support of the private sector,” he added. 

Gracing the event was Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State Jeremy Browne MP and FCO Asia Pacific Director Peter Wilson. It was the first Olympic-related reception attended by Minister Browne. 

“The Philippines is a real partner country for Britain in Asia, and we hope that you will also see Britain as a partner country in Europe. The Olympics is another opportunity to further build and develop the friendship. To all of the Filipino athletes and coaches, you are so welcome here and I wish you so much luck,” said Minister Browne. 

The Philippine Team is composed of: 

  • Archers Rachelle Anne Cabral and Mark Javier, coached by Jae Hun Chung;
  • Boxer Mark Anthony Barriga, coached by Roel Velasco;
  • Swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna, coached by Carlos Brosas;
  • Shooter Paul Brian Rosario, coached by Gay Corral;
  • Track and field bets Marestella Torres and Rene Herrera, coached by Joseph Sy;
  • Judoka Tomohiko Hoshina, coached by Yushiro Sato;
  • BMX rider Daniel Caluag, coached by Jason Richardson; and,
  • Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, coached by Antonio Agustin.

 Also present at the event were Filipino torchbearers Reymund Enteria and Steven Cheung, and global runner Cesar Guarin. 

The archery team will kick-off the Philippines’ participation in the Olympics on Friday morning, 27 July. 

That evening, weightlifter Diaz, as the official flag-bearer, will lead the Philippine Team during the official Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Park.  

The Philippines first participated in the Olympics in 1924, and has since won 2 silver and seven bronze medals. (END)

Ambassador Manalo and Foreign Office Minister of State Jeremy Browne MP pose with Filipino Olympic torchbearers Steven Cheung (L) and Reymund Enteria (R) at the reception.