Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Eric Buhain

Joseph Eric Buhain (born April 12, 1970) is the chairman of the Philippines' Games and Amusement Board.

Buhain is also popular among Filipinos as a champion swimmer, where he hauled several Southeast Asian Games medals to the Philippines.

Eric ventured into swimming not because he dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal, but because his doctor advised him to venture into sports to improve his lungs. Eric was born with Primary Lung Complex.

He enrolled in a two-week swimming program at the age of seven. Yet his training was breached by another illness, hepatitis. However, this didn't stop him. A year later, he was training again and taking the advance course in swimming, the competitive course, at age nine. It was at this age that he got into the varsity swimming team of De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School and vowed to win a gold medal in the sport.

By 1981, he was a member of the Philippine Team and swam in the 400-meter individual medley at age eleven. But it was in his first Southeast Asian Games in 1985, held in Bangkok, Thailand, where he snatched the gold in the same category at the tender age of fifteen.
In the 1989 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he broke one of the existing SEA Games swimming records. In the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, where the Philippines was the host, he made a huge contribution to the gold medal record of the host country by winning most of the events in swimming. With great jubilation, he was chosen to represent the Philippines in the 1992 Summer Olympics. Unfortunately he didn't win any medals in that sporting event.
Even though he won several gold medals in the 1993 Southeast Asian Games, he decided to retire from his swimming career. He was disappointed on poor government management that led to a mediocre performance of the Philippine team in that sporting event.
In 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Buhain as the chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission after learning the Philippines poor international ranking in Sports. He instituted reforms that led to protest to some commissioners and employees. In 2003, the Philippines increased its rank in the medal tally in the Southeast Asian Games and the country won several medals in the 2002 Asian Games after getting only a bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games.

Barely six months before the 2005 Southeast Asian Games he was appointed by President Arroyo as the chairman of the Games and Amusement Board, a public agency that handles professional sporting and gambling events.

Buhain is the husband of Representative Eileen Ermita-Buhain of the 1st District of Batangas, and the son-in-law of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.


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