Building reputations


Jholeen Ponce wins two top awards in her first competition

WINNIPEG – The sport of bodybuilding is not known for a high number of Asian competitors but Winnipeg’s Filipino community is amassing a formidable array of talent in this field. On March 17, the Manitoba Amateur Body Building Association (MABBA) held its 2012 Novice Championships at the Pantages Theatre and Pinoys took top honours in several categories.

Brian Duaqui won first place in the Men’s Physique Short category while Darren Pacle took first place in the Bantamweight Men’s division with fellow Filipino Kenny Rollon winning third place. Darren Pacle will compete again in the provincial championships on June 2.

Among the women, Jholeen Ponce reigned in two categories, winning first place in the Fitness Short category and her performance was judged Best Fitness Routine.

Brian Duaqui
Darren Pacle

Mark Serrano placed second in a field of seven competitors in the Light Middleweight Men’s category while Isabel Reyes and Charmaine Rona finished a respectable sixth and tenth respectively in a field of 17 in the Bikini Short category.

These latest achievements build on last year’s wins at the MABBA Novice Championships in which Terence Galope took first place with Sam Dalupang and Kimberly Ho taking second place in their categories. (Read more about Kimberly Ho)

And now Winnipeg’s Filipino bodybuilding talent is poised to break out into the national and international spotlight. On April 28, Brian Duaqui, Kimberly Ho and Jholeen Ponce will compete in the 2012 International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB) World Championships Qualifier at the McPhillips Station Casino. Success in this competition will allow them to compete throughout North America and, ultimately, in global competitions.

Tickets for the IFBB World Championships Qualifier at the McPhillips Station Casino are available through

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