Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao: Igorots are self-sustaining, village-oriented

Eduard Folayang, Mark Sangiao (© ONE Championship)

Eduard Folayang, Mark Sangiao (© ONE Championship)

Team Lakay founder and head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao has been spending some quality time with his sons Jhanlo Mark Sangiao and Marko Sangiao while quarantined in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Recently, the mixed martial arts veteran talked about his Igorot heritage.

With the whole world reeling from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most important things to take care of is one’s physical and mental health. Amidst the uncertainty however, members of the famed Team Lakay stable in La Trinidad have managed to keep themselves and their families strong, safe, and above all else, sound of mind and they owe a lot of it to their Igorot heritage.

“The Igorot people are known to be resilient, self-sustaining, village-oriented, and we are used to simple living,” Mark explained. “Even in times like these, people don’t get hungry because we take care of each other.”

“You go out and you’ll see free vegetables stocked out on the road and we don’t hoard them,” the Team Lakay founder and head coach continued. “We only get what we need so that everyone has something on their tables.”

The Igorots are the various ethnic groups in the mountains of the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines. Among the languages they speak are Kankanaey and Ibaloi.

According to the Team Lakay founder and head coach, history has shown how Igorots managed to survive together during trying times. He said, “Remember that during the war, Cordillera was able to sustain themselves because of the strong ties that we have here coupled with the patience and the resiliency that we have.”


“I’ve mostly been occupying myself with home training with my eldest son Jhanlo and playing with my youngest son Marko,” Mark shared. “I’m also giving online training lessons and the rest of the day, I spend it working on Team Lakay’s social media page as well as the athletes’ social media pages.”

Among Mark’s proteges are Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Edward Kelly, Joshua Pacio, Lito Adiwang, Gina Iniong, Danny Kingad and April Osenio of ONE Championship and Stephen Loman, Jeremy Pacatiw, Jomar Paac, Jonchris Corton and Harold Banario of BRAVE Combat Federation. Here is an interview with Mark and Pacio months before the COVID-19 pandemic:

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