The FWD PH Runner
Who is Louie Sangalang?
Louie Sangalang has been an athlete since he was a kid. Football, track and field, swimming, basketball, Arnis, dragon boat rowing, name it, he’s tried it! On top of that, he was also interested in the sciences, winning local and regional science fairs. In the tradition of the stereotypical high school cliques, he is both the nerd and jock. In college, however, he pursued his passion for sports while taking up a Physics course, which he eventually changed to Humanities, Minor in Psychology.
“Though my parents had supported my interest in sports growing up, they were very vocal about the financial limitations of being a professional athlete. And so I obeyed them. After all, I’ve always believed that what people choose to pursue as a career shouldn’t define who they are in life,” Louie says.
In 2000, his last year in college, Louie was diagnosed with acute adenocarcinoma of the appendix or appendiceal cancer. But instead of letting the Big C bring him down, he battled it head on the best way he knew how—through sports. Mixed martial arts (MMA), to be exact.
To recover from cancer, he had to literally fight back—training every day, lifting weights, wrestling, boxing, doing jiu-jitsu, swimming and running. When the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) mounted its second mainstream event in Manila, Louie decided to fight professionally. From then on, he made it his personal advocacy to raise awareness on health and fitness.