First-time competitors Alvin Rebong and Augustine Diaz bested the favorites for a 1-2 finish in the inaugural Marianas Muscle Bodybuilding Competition last Saturday at the Pedro P Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.
Rebong ruled the men’s bodybuilding event while Diaz finished second. They both defeated a field that included veterans Donivan Mendiola, Jun Riodique, and crowd favorite Aaron Tomokane.
Both Rebong and Diaz said they only had a few weeks to prepare for the event, and decided at the last minute to join the competition.
“I’m preparing for the September event but I was invited to join a few days ago. I wasn’t expecting to win,” said the 44-year-old Rebong, who is a gym instructor at Saipan World Resort.
He added that he followed a strict diet and cardio just to trim down from 184 lbs for his competition weight of 150 lbs in one month.
“I was after the symmetry and definition of my body. I was aiming for 3-5 percent body fat,” said Rebong, who became serious in weight training way back in the Philippines.
Diaz, meanwhile, had a home gym where he trains and uses calisthenics and break dancing for cross training.
“This is my first time to join. I said I just want to try competing. I’m happy with the result and at the same time surprised,” said the 29-year-old break dancing instructor, who teaches classes at Marianas High School and at the Minatchom Atdao pavilion.
“I built my own gym at home. I had some more equipment coming in and I also use my own body weight for training,” added Diaz, who only had four weeks of preparation.
Regino Celis topped the junior bodybuilding event, while George Pangelinan finished second. Dicky Feria was the other competitor.
Celis, who won the junior physique category in last year’s Dee Clayton Classic, said he trained hard and went on a strict diet for three months just to prepare for the competition.
The Saipan Southern High School junior said that he would encourage other youth to try bodybuilding as a sport.
“It is a good sport and not everyone can do it. You need to exert a lot of effort and hard work but the results are rewarding and you can make a difference,” said Celis.