GYMNASTICS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES
The GYMNASTICS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (GAP) was established in 1963. It is the only National Federation for Sport Gymnastics in the Philippines recognized by the Federation Internationale De Gymnastique (FIG). GAP is presently active in developing the following disciplines: Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG), Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG), Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG) and Aerobic Gymnastics (AER) from the 7 disciplines of Gymnastics in its 50th Year Celebration , the year 2012, GAP is prepared to develop another discipline which is the Trampoline Gymnastics (TRA)
Provide Leadership in the systematic and sustained development of Gymnastics as one of the Sports in the country and situate the Philippines prominently in the Global Gymnastics Map.
- National Athletes Developmental Program
- National Coaches Development, Licensing & Accreditation
- National Judges Development, Licensing & Accreditation
A national network of highly competent Coaches and Internationally Accredited Technical Officials operating in self sufficient locally based clubs producing World Class Gymnasts.
Gymnastics is a sport basic to all sports and is recognized by its vital role in the development of total fitness of an individual. It is an artistic expression of ideas, a graceful yet demanding movement process.
Gymnastics in the Philippine Educational System was introduced by two well-known Physical Educators, Director Candido Bartolome from the University of the Philippines and Mrs. Francisca Reyes Aquino from the then, Bureau of Public Schools. Gymnastics then include basic exercises or calisthenics, fancy marching, stunts and tumbling and rhythmic gymnastics. All activities performed for the purpose of fitness of the growing children and for mass performance as culminating activities.
In 1960, the competitive aspect of gymnastics was inspired by the more advanced skills performed by the group of boys from the Philippines Boys Town headed by Father Ricardo Mirasol. In 1962, the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) was formed with Julian Malonzo as the first President, Leopoldo Montealegre as the Vice President, Sotero Tejada as the Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Adina Ferrer from Far Eastern University and Remedios Piñon from University of the Philippines as the Women Technical and Father Mirasol as the Mens’s technical committee chairman.
In 1963, GAP invited the secondary public schools to take part in the national competition. It was then FEU with Mrs. Inezita Quevedo coaching and UP with Mrs. Remedio Piñon who were actively competing in gymnastics among the UAAP members. FEU was the reigning team in the college level while the Boys Town tops them all in the men and boys division. Among the FEU Gymnast were Evelyn Magluyan, Ma. Luisa Floro, Virginia Jarme, and Pureza Limbaga, and UP has Trudel Piñon and Linda Kimpo. The Men were Ernesto Beren, Norman Henson and Julian Indon.
It was also in 1963 that Dr. Adana Ferrer convinced the association to apply for international affiliation with the world governing body, the Fêdêration Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) . With sets of highly skilled gymnasts of their time Mr. Sotero Tejada being the Secretary General made an application to the FIG for membership and appeal to have its gymnasts compete in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The Tokyo Olympics was the first venture made by the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines into the international arena by sending a team of two male and two female gymnasts to represent the country. Evelyn Magluyan became the countrys first gymnast to compete in an international arena by competing in two events of the Womens Artistics gymnastics. Her male counterparts, Norman Henson and Ernesto Beren from the Boystown team, competed in the Mens artistic events the next day. The countrys fourth bet Maria Luisa Floro from the Far Eastern University missed the Games as she had an appendectomy on the day of the competition. Together, they formed the countrys first Olympians in Gymnastics.
The FIG sent several groups of gymnastic teams to the Philippines in 1967 like USA team (MAG and WAG) and the Danish Rhythmic Gymnastics Demonstration Team from Copenhagen in 1969 to inspire the Philippines and its gymnasts to augment and improve their skills on a scientific and methodological processes.
Among the public school systems, only Arellano High School under Ms. Clarita Diñoso made an attempt to compete with the Girls High School and College Teams of FEU and UP. The Gymnastics event were the Compulsory Mass Gymnastics Competition (Floor Exercise with six members) and individual apparatus events. Arellano was successful in their first attempt until they got the title as defending champion up to 1966. The team included Virginia Villareal, Ellen Oakes, Teresita Tudla, Lida Jose, Aida Villarama and Constance Harn.
In 1967, another group of gymnast from the V. Mapa High School under Evangeline Navarro emerged as a force in Philippine gymnastics. They were Carmen Acantiladom, Divina Javier, Teresita Jose, Angelita Yamat, Santiago Ty, and Lauro Reyes. At that time, FEU was the reigning champion made up most of the national team. Some gymnasts from Arellano were absorbed into the team to bolster its lineup. Among the medalist in the collegiate level were Virginia Villareal, Evelyn Magluyan, Ellen Oakes, Evangeline Regala, Virginia Jarme, Julian Indon, Florante Vera, Ruben Obligacion, Danilo Ortega, Billy Salamat, Norman Henson and Ernesto Beren.
In 1970’s, the FEU team disbanded its coach who was also coach of the national team migrated to the United States. V. Mapa High School took over the mantle left by FEU gained its reigned for 13 years. It was in the mid 1970’s when University of the East halted V. Mapa’s dominance as the top team in the country by embarking on an ambitious program that saw its members gain national and international titles. Its drive was made stronger when it recruited alumni from V Mapa High School after their graduation from the high school.
In the 1971 Asian Games held in Tokyo, GAP sent its national team to the Games with Evangeline Navarro and Ricardo Ablang as head coaches for Womens and Mens respectively. The national team was made up of gymnasts from UE, UP and FEU. Evangeline Pamuceno, Adelia Decena, Fedalis Tomenis, Milagros Montes and Pinky Versoza comprised the wpomens team while Santiago Ty, who years later be appointed the National team coach, Florante Vera, Norman Henson and Ernesto Beren comprised the MMr. Sotero Tejada being the first Filipino FIG Brevet in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics in the Philippines. He made an appeal to the SEA GAMES Committee for the inclusion of Gymnastics as one of the sports event in the SEA GAMES to strengthen this petition, he organized the Southeast Asian Gymnastics Confederation (SEAGCON). Mr. Tejada would later on be bestowed the title, honor and recognition as the Father of the Southeast Asian Gymnastics Confederation (SEAGCON) during the 1997 SEA Games.
The 1973 Southeast Asian Games saw the Philippines compete in the SEA Games Gymnastics events for the first time. The team then composed of Milagros Montes, Donna Balingit, Lorena Hares, Rebecca Briones and Josephine dela Cruz while the 1971 Asian Games Mens team stayed intact and added promising juniors Sergio Jasareno and Jose Macaraeg. The 1979 SEA Games in Jakarta saw the dominance of Philippine gymnastics with Rolando Albuera garnering a huge catch of five gold medals of of a possible seven in the mens events.
The 1980’s saw different private gymnastics club emerging in the spotlight with Club Gymnastica founded by Atty. Lucero and archrivals in the late 80’s and early nineties, the UP- College of Human Kinetics Open Gymnastics Program founded by Ma. Ceciclia Dalupan-San Andres and UP-CHK Dean Cynthia Abad Santos started their storied rivalry. In the distaff side, University of the East made its presence felt by dominating mens gymnastics over its rivals from Cebu and Manila. ht in te field of sports. The 11th SEA GAMES in 1981 were represented by the very young Bea Lucero, Catherine Ocampo, Cintamonni dela Cruz, Alex Tolentino and Alvin Castañeda with Cecile Dalupan, Antonio Valenzuela, Robert Tejada and Santiago Ty Coaching, Mrs. Evelyn M. Dela Fuente , Judge. It was Project: Gintong Alay created by Michael Keon and supported by Malacanang that funds and support its sports program of the NSA started(1980-1988) .
In the 1989 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, the Philippine Team composed of Bea Lucero, Cathy Ocampo, Bea Pou, Junnie Unson, Kara Ateinza, Erika Paredes, Jasmin Valenton brought home the Team silver medal in the Womens Event. Bea Lucero would claim the Individual All- Around title and became the darling of the Games and Philippine Gymnastics. Sergio Jasareno, Alex Tolentino, Wilfredo Bilog, Rommel Kong, Badz De Guzman and Aldrin Macaolli claimed the bronze for the Mens team. Toektino won Gold his final vault. This was the last time that the team was funded by Project: Gintong Alay as the Philippine Sports Commission took over the role of Project: Gintong Alay in 1990.
In 1991 Manila SEA GAMES, Catherine Ocampo, Jasmin Valenton & Ricardo Otero were the darling of the press during the Games and electrified the standing room crowd at the Riozal Memorial Coliseum. The golden age of Philippine Gymnastics started making gymnastics a favorite sports event of the school children in both the public and private schools. The womens team comprised of Catherine Ocampo, Jasmin Valenton, Jean Elaine Santos, Wednesday Reyes and Cintamoni dela Cruz wrested the team, gold away from title favorites Indonesia. They were coached by Tony Valenzuela, John Climaco and Liza Pou. Nikolai Maiburov was its foreign adviser. Ricardo Otero won two gold medals and helped the mens team gain the silver medal along with veterans Sergio Jasareno,Wilfredo Bilog, Badz de Guzman and Alexander Toentino and Aldrin Macawili. The Mens team were coached by Santiago Ty and Roberto Tejada, Jr.
In 1990, Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics as the third gymnastics discipline was organized through the initiative and support of Pamela Valdes (WAG Technical Chairman) along with Bettina Pou, Rita Atienza, Maruja Paredes, Rosalie Unson and Millie Artillaga.Teresita Evangelista was appointed as the First Technical Chairman. The Malaysian Gymnastics Federation sent their Malaysian Technical Director, Khaw Shun Ean and a national Coach Teh Lah Hung (Alice Teh) to help GAP in the training and selection of coaches and prepare a structure for an RSG team to compete in the Manila 16th SEA GAMES. Julie Alagde, Marga Valdez, Bea Pou, Janna dela Cruz, Junie Unson, April Gonzalez and Raiza Artillaga all made a team from an initial cut of eighteen training pool members The RSG team trained for only eight months did well over their more seasoned counterparts from Singapore, Myanmar and Laos.. Virginia Indon, Virginia Galvez, Rosanna Diana and Carol Zialcita as the National Coaches comprised the country’s first national coaches for Rhythmic Gymnastics. In the 1993 SEA GAMES in Singapore the same group of rhythmic gymnasts reaped several medals and a Silver Medal in the individual all-round event led by Julie Alagde.
AEROBICS gained popularity and a s early as 1990 the American and European and Asian countries had shown interest in popularizing Sport Aerobics. In 1995, Sports Aerobics was introduced as an organize sports event under gymnastics with the FIG as the highest governing body. With this pursuit several coaching and judging seminars were opened to all member countries. In the year 2000, Aerobic Gymnastics in Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea became popular turning Sports Aerobics in Aerobics Gymnastics with a standard rules set and controlled by FIG. In 2003, Philippines recognized and included Aerobics Gymnastics to be the 4th Gymnastics discipline. In 2005 GAP-PICAF had its first group to compete in the Manila SEA GAMES. 16 Filipino Judges qualified in the International Judging Course in May of 2005 then giving them their first exposure to international judging in the 21th SEA GAMES in Manila in Nov.-Dec. of the same Year.
In 2011, Cheerleading being a very popular side event in school and university sports finally gained its formal recognition as the fifth Gymnastics discipline as approved by the PSC-POC in Philippine Sports. The icing to the cake was the surprise 3rd place finish of Team Philippines in the 6th Cheerleading World Championships in Hong Kong later in the year. Cheerleading was first organized by the association in 1993. The 6th and 7th gymnastics discipline, TRAMPOLINING and SPORTS ACROBATICS is being introduced this year to celebrate the renaissance of Philippine gymnastics.