Fitness titlist from Koronadal aims for world crown

Abantao, a winner of various body fitness competitions in the country the past several years, earned the right to carry the country’s colors in the annual international tilt after winning the Ms. Universe Philippines crown in Manila last month.

“I will aim for the title, no less, and I feel great about it (upcoming competition) considering that I’ll have enough time to prepare,” she said in a press conference here.

Abantao, who owns a health and fitness center in Koronadal City, said she would immediately leave for Manila to undergo a rigid training program in preparation for the Munich competition, which is slated on December 1 and 2.

She said the training program will end on November 28.

Abantao topped the figure and mixed pair divisions and the creative posing category en route to the women’s overall title during the national championships held at the Camp Aguinaldo Theater in Quezon City.

She won the mixed pair division title along with Filipino-German Ringo Borlain.

For her feat, the South Cotabato provincial board passed a resolution recognizing the honor she brought for the province.

Vice Governor Eliordo Ogena, author of the resolution, said Abantao’s feat showed everyone that “individual will power, determination, confidence and giving all the best in every competition will pave the way to success.”

Abantao was already an accomplished dancer and swimmer before she plunged into the world of body fitness.

As a member of the South Cotabato swimming team that represented the region in the 1990 Palarong Pambansa, Abantao landed on the top five of the freestyle event.

During her college in Manila, she turned to dancing and was eventually featured in an aerobics, health and fitness show of television station ABC-5. She later became a member of the Slimmers World Fitness Center at the SM Mega Mall in Quezon City.

Her past accomplishments include a third place finish in the Slimmers Aerobics Marathon’ amateur division held in Manila in 1998, finalist in the Ms. Great Bodies Slimmers Finals in Manila in 1999, third place in the First Iron Maiden Body-building Competition in Manila in 2000, first place in the Mindanao Aero-kickboxing Marathon in 2002 and Ms. Bohol over-all champion and first place in women’s division in 2003. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)