Eric Buhain

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Joseph Eric Buhain (born 12 April 1970) is a famous Filipino swimmer who won several medals when he competed in the South East Asian Games. He also became the chairman of the Games and Amusement Board and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Early life

When Buhain was born, he was diagnosed with primary respiratory complex and was advised to swim to strengthen his lungs. He became part of the De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School varsity swimming team in grade school. In 1981, he became a member of the Philippine Team.


In 1985, he started to compete in the Southeast Asian Games which was held at Bangkok, Thailand. He won a gold medal on the 400-meter individual category. He competed in SEA Games in 1987 at Jakarta, Indonesia from which he won several medals. In 1989 SEA Games at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he won first place again and broke their swimming records at the time. Two years later, the SEA Games were held in the Philippines and he competed, winning a gold medal and making the country proud. A year later, he was chosen to represent the Philippines in the Summer Olympics at Barcelona, Spain but he wasn't able to win any medals. He decided to retire in 1993 right after competing in the SEA Games, in which he won various medals from different categories.

In 2001, he was appalled to discover the complacency of the Philippine government towards the country's athletic teams. He was then appointed by president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission.

In 2005, he became the chairman of the Games and Amusement Board, a public organization that promotes and manages all sporting and gambling events in the country.


3-time MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) champion in:

  • 400 individual medley
  • 100 butterfly
  • 200 butterfly

In 1990 and 1991, a qualified NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) candidate in:

  • 100 breaststroke
  • 200 individual medley
  • 200 butterfly

SEA Games in 1987, 1989 and 1991

  • 200 freestyle: gold medal
  • 100 butterfly: gold medal
  • 200 butterfly: gold medal
  • 400 individual medley: gold medal
  • 100 backstroke: bronze medal
  • 100 medley relay: bronze medal
  • 100 freestyle relay: bronze medal
  • 200 freestyle relay: bronze medal

Personal life

He is currently married to Eileen Ermita-Buhain.