By Jun Ray Navarres
For The Passion, there will always be a way.
Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio stays ready and sharp amidst the COVID-19 pandemic through biking in the hills and valleys of Baguio.
Due to movement restrictions in the Philippines because of the pandemic, Team Lakay had to resort to alternative methods of training to keep their physical fitness at peak level while following safety and health protocols.
“Mountain biking is a leisure activity, but it’s also good for cardio exercise,” said Pacio.
Mountain biking has already been a part of Pacios’ training regimen, riding at least once a week during training and two to three times a week when they don’t have an upcoming bout.
Aside from the chance to get in a great workout, for Pacio, it is also a way to absorb the unique energy of mother nature while experiencing the fun and excitement of the alternative sport.
Baguio City, where the team is situated has the best climate in the Philippines especially during summer and is abundant of hills, valleys, rivers and flourishing wildlife which makes it suitable for mountain biking.
“It’s [mountain biking] reenergizing and revitalizing, great for the mind and body,” said Pacio.
“What I love most about mountain biking is that you don’t really notice how physically tiring it is because you’re having so much fun. Baguio City has some of the best scenic locations in the Philippines. It’s so refreshing to just take in nature.”
For Pacio, the best part of mountain biking with the team is the camaraderie being built along the uphill and downhill slopes of the way.
“I took up mountain biking because I saw kuya Edward, kuya Geje, and kuya Honorio doing it. So I tried it way back then, but it took me two years to buy my own bike. I’ve only just now made it a regular thing. Now we all go biking together, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Pacio.
“We started riding at 10 in the morning, and we finished around 4:30 in the afternoon, ending up along a river where we had a meal before we went home. It’s those moments that get etched into your memory. It was such an amazing experience.”
Once the situation with COVID-19 begins to improve and restrictions are relaxed, ONE Championship will look to host events in Manila once again and Pacio knows that he needs to be at the top of his game at all times in order to be ready when called to defend his belt once restrictions are relaxed.
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