Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 30, of Mankayan, Benguet, Philippines and Jessica Olsim Banario’s son Stone Banario was born in 2019. While the world is dealing with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Igorot mixed martial artist is spending his quarantine time as a hands-on father.
“Well, I’m at the province right now, babysitting,” Banario shared. “I’ve also kept myself fit by skipping rope, shadowboxing and carrying stones to have a light exercise. Sometimes, I go and run on the trail near the farm.”
Banario shared that a certain native Igorot dish might be a key factor in keeping safe during the pandemic. He said, “Well, the things that normal Igorots do during this time of crisis are simply staying at home and following the rules.”
“We also cook a native chicken dish known as pinikpikan,” Banario continued. “I think these are the things that are helping to keep us safe and away from this dangerous virus.”
The last time Banario competed was on September 25, 1989 at “ONE: King of the Jungle,” closed-door event held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. He defeated Shannon “One Shin” Wiratchai, 31, of Thailand in the featherweight division.
Training at Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Banario used to compete in the lightweight division after losing the ONE Featherweight World Championship title. “ONE: King of the Jungle” marked his return to the featherweight division.
Founded by Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, 41, Team Lakay is home to some of the top ONE Championship athletes. Among Banario’s teammates are Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 35, Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang, 27, Southeast Asian Games 2019 gold medalist Gina “Conviction” Iniong Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 30, ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finalist Danny “The King” Kingad, 24, former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 32, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 31, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 36, and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 24.