Caneda Aunco and Caneda display.wiinning form in the WDSF-PDSF Cebu Open 2023 Latin and Standard Adult Open dancesport competition at the Watefront Hotel and Casino .

Aunzo, Caneda dance their way to WDSF-Cebu Open triumph

October 7, 2023 Ed Andaya 712 views
Aunzo and Caneda.

CEBU CITY — The inspiring success story of three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Wilbert Aunzo and long-time partner Pearl Marie Caneda continued in the WDSF-PDSF Cebu Open 2023 Latin and Standard Adult Open dancesport competition at the Watefront Hotel and Casino here recently.

Aunzo and Caneda performed with great flair and passion as they topped the Latin Grade A Adults National Championship infront of a huge weekend crowd that included Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and his lovely wife.

Dancing under the tutelage of well-known coach Crisaldo Rendon, the dancesport pair of Aunzo and Caneda won over Jefferson Pimentel and Mary Desiree Seraga of Dance Vision Arena and husband-and-wife tandem of Michael Angelo Marquez and Stephanie Sabalo of Ronnie Steve Vergara team.

The real-life duo of Aunzo and Caneda also captured the bronze medal in the WDSF Open Adult Latin category behind only the world-ranked Spanish pair of David Diaz Falcon and Denis Beccari and Filipino power couple Marquez and Sabalo.

“We’re very happy with our performances here in the WDSF Cebu Open. Pearl and I spent a lot of time together to practice,” said the 30-year-old Aunzo, whose dancesport career was nearly cut short by a vehicular accident in 2017 and an ACL injury in 2018.

“Nagpapasalamat kami ni Pearl kay (former PAGCOR chairman) Maam Andrea Domingo, PSC commisssioner Edward Hayco and wife Eleanor, Marvie Yulo and DTCC family,” added Aunzo, who who started dancesport in 2007.

Aunzo and his long-time girlfriend Caneda rose to prominence by winning three gold medals in Latin rumba, sumba, and chacha events during the 2019 SEA Game sin Clark, Pampanga and silver tmedal in samba and bronze medals in rumba and paso doble events in the 2022 SEA Games in Hanoi.

The pair of Arselmo Estillore and Mary Joy Dumasmog and Andrew Ysla and Noelyn Mae Pedrano finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Completing the top finishers were John Lloyd Leyson and Ouie Selene Rendon, sixth; Lloyd Simon Asuque and Trixie Pearl Dicdican, seventh; Michael Marquez and Kate Danielle Borja, eighth; Arnie Paler and Rikki Angeli Renigen, ninth; and JohnTheo Puerto and Angela Marie Talatala, 10th.

In the PDSF Grade A Adult Standard, Sean and Ana Aranar took center stage, beating Mark Jayson Gayon and Mary Joy Renigen and Lee Gian Jose Yee and Willanne Ducay.

Other winners were Rhyss Rhafael Fajardo and Shadelle Niña Hernandez in the Junior Standard-A; Dylan Jacob Kazer Esmero and Sofia Isabella Maree Quilaton in the Latin Youth-A; Francis Dave Sombal and Mitchloni Dinauanao Open Latin Youth-A; Klynne Joseph Castigador and Ma. Victoria Cruz of Iloilo in the Latin Junior-A ; Justin Pareja and Czkha Gyle Garrucha in the Youth Standard-A; and Ariana Margarrette and Zamantha Nicole Koleszar of Moalboal iin the Youth Duo Latin category.

A total of 1,400 participants from Spain, China, Korea, Japan, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, MAlaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand, Viuetnam and host Philippines attended the one-day event hosted by Cebu for the first time since 2019.

Among the leading personalities present were PSC Commissioners Edward Hayco and Walter Torres, Cebu City Sports Commission chairman John Pages, PSC Mindanao officer-in-charge Noli Ayo, pSC Visayas officer Kate Belaniso, Special Olympics Pilipinas National Director Janvie Amido and PDSF president Becky Garcia.