Manny Pacquiao, Gabriel Elorde and Luisito Espinosa are arguably some of the greatest boxers the Philippines has ever produced. Just like them, Gerry Peñalosa fits perfectly at the top. Let’s take a look at one of his boxing gyms in Quezon City.
HOW TO GET THERE – The gym is located at 8th Acropolis Center, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Quezon City. The building is situated at the commercial part of E. Rodriguez, and it’s also where the delicious foods are nearby — there are fast food joints, pizza parlors, burger joints, tea shops… you name it!
If you’re bringing your own car or riding an Uber, prepare for the worst traffic you’ll ever experience. It just drives me crazy (no pun intended). Although, I can basically say the same for the whole Metro Manila. Plus, the number of trucks are insane! You’ll see hundreds of them occupying 2 lanes of the road and not moving (can you believe that?) That’s enough rant for now. For those commuting, there should be jeepney’s you can ride from Cubao (“Rosario” as far I can recall).
Oh and by the way, they have a huge parking space in the basement.
The facade is of modern, sleek design — it’s made with glass walls that you can only see in sci-fi movies (or in any lavish neighborhood). From the inside, you can pretty much see the people (and the heavy traffic) outside. The floor area is decent, they have their own boxing ring right at the entrance with 2 heavy bags on the side and another 2 in the middle. There’s a couple of speedball stations, a mini weight room at the center, and a wooden floor in the innermost part with mirrored walls for your mandatory selfie needs.
They have 2 bathrooms that are very basic. And when I say basic, I mean no there’s no shower. Yep, you’ll have to reinvigorate your body old-school tabo (dipper) style. I gotta say, the exterior got me all excited but the interior got me confused. Some parts of the place are hip and cool but some aren’t. There’s even a heavy bag that’s in terrible shape — it’s covered with duct tape that’s already peeling off. My shin hurts just by looking at it. Talk about wear and tear on that one. On the outside, it looked enticing but on the inside, not so much.
PRICE AND PROMOS
Annual Membership: 800
This is below my market price and easily outmatches its competitors.
Hits just the right spot. What’s unique is the 3/6/12 sessions that are consumable within 30 days. You wouldn’t want to miss the 20% discount on these! Don’t even get me started with their Monthly Unlimited.
Muay Thai: 250
Another one of those gyms that give no regard to my “boxing + 100” formula. Almost the same discount applies to their 3/6/12 and Monthly Unlimited sessions.
Whenever I hear a boxing gym offer an “MMA” training session, my eyebrow muscles start to flex, I get skeptical. I ask questions in my head like, “What do they teach their students in there?” or “How are these boxers going to teach students armbar or single leg takedowns?”. Unless they have a legit MMA fighter as a trainer, I’d go elsewhere.
Going back to the price point, should you consider training MMA in this gym, the amount is still within my range of 300-400 PHP.
*Gloves and wraps are available for rent at 50 PHP.
*From time to time, they run sweet some promo that goes something like this:
I visited the gym late in the afternoon on a drizzling Saturday and was surprised by the number of students training (or lack thereof). I honestly thought I was the only one looking to get a beat down at the gym. Luckily, there was a teenage boy who had a Muay Thai session that day. So I deliberated long and hard on what skill I’d sharpen, “Boxing, it is!”, I told the attendant.
There were 2 coaches handy at the time, the trainer that was assigned to me was a humble boxer who came fresh from retirement. His last fight was in 2016 but he certainly didn’t look like an inactive fighter at all. Although he looked a little out of shape, his shoulders and arms would definitely tell you that he can still tear you into pieces.
I grabbed the rope and did skipping for 2 rounds. As soon as I was done, he walked towards my bag to pick up the wraps and did my hands. Dang, just a couple rounds of warm up and we went straight to mitt work! Seriously, that was the quickest warm up of my “training life”. Two rounds have passed and he accompanied me to the speedball station to do two rounds. The bell rang and I was told, again, to do two rounds of double-end bag work. Right afterwards, we went back to mitt training for two rounds.
Then for some reason, he turned into an angel and gave me a full round of rest.
Ha ha! Just when I thought I could get to my favorite Jollibee burger steak meal, he walked slowly towards me to work on our jab-jab-straight combination. Another 2 rounds went by and I was invited to do ladder training exercise. Ladder exercise greatly enhances the eye-foot coordination. We did 6 different exercises for 4 sets each. (I know right). Another quick rest was utilized then we proceeded to the ab-machine to call it a night.
Note that throughout the training session, he was watching me closely like a Jedi to his Padawan. And the only rest I got was the 30-second interval in-between rounds. This was a classic case of an ex-fighter punishing his students the way his coach punished him in training! Hey, don’t shake your head there like it’s a bad thing. It’s actually good for you because of 2 reasons: 1) you get a feel of their training regimen and 2) survive with flying colors and his ego will be bruised! (I’m kidding =p)
On a serious note, my trainer was more than eager to teach me some routines they (fighters) do on a day-to-day basis. He also complimented me often on my straight, “You got a strong straight right, I can feel your power in my shoulders.” (Thank you to that one coach who taught me the best possible way to throw the straight.) Years of training my hands have finally paid off. I also got to chit-chat with one Muay Thai trainer and found out that they have a couple of fighters who recently took part in a local amateur Muay Thai competition.
The overall size of the place isn’t that big and the equipment aren’t top-notch. But what I do like about the gym is their trainers — I could feel the hunger to teach in all of them. There are so many “first-class” boxing gyms nowadays with instructors who just show up to “get paid”, not in this gym. For this reason, I will be absolutely glad to visit this place again should I get the chance.
There you go. Thanks again for reading my review, I’ll see you in my next one!
(Disclaimer: I was not paid in cash or any kind by Gerry Penalosa Libis Boxing Gym – Libis management or its affiliates to make this review.)