Lerma Elmira Buluitan-Gabito
Lerma Elmira Bulauitan (later Gabito), Born in 1974 from Penablanca, Cagayan Valley. She began her career as a sprinter and jumper.
Bulauitan clocked 12.5 to
the win the Palarong Pambansa secondary girls’ title as a 16-year-old in 1990 in Pangasinan.
During her senior years of the Palaro though Bulauitan would be in the shadow of the highly controversial Nancy Navalta.
Navalta in her first year of high school dethroned Bulauitan in the 1991 Palaro in the 100m Dash.
At the 1996 Weekly Relays, Bulauitan came in second in the 100 to Muros 11.9 to 12.2.
Bulauitan started her SEA Games career off with a Bronze in the 1997 SEA Games in Jakarta leaping 6.26m.
Behind Elma Muros 6.45m and Nguyen Bich Va of Vietnam 6.29m.
In the 1999 National Open, she was second to Elma again 6.27m to 6.08m.
With the absence of Muros, Bulauitan won her first national title in the 100m in 12.2 seconds.
At the 1999 SEA Games, Lerma took bronze in the Long Jump in 6.27m, again behind Elma Muros 6.34 and Nguyen Bich Va of Vietnam.
She also was 7th in the 100 Final in 12.16.
However the following year Bulauitan defended her national title in the 100 meters defeating Muros with a hand-timed 11.3.
The performance was good enough to qualify her for the Sydney Olympic Games. She also finished fourth in the long jump at the Asian Championships in Jakarta with a 6.36m leap.
She would run the 100m again at the 2001 World Championships.
The Philippines would lose its only SEA Games title in the period 1983 to 2013. When Nguyen Bich Va won and Lerma took the silver in 6.43m.
In the 2002 Asian Championships in Colombo She had her highest success taking the silver in 6.40m and finished 4th in the Busan Asian Games 6.30m.
It also recorded 11.61 in 100m 26 May 2002, and also in 2003 at Asian Grand Prix in Manila.
In the 2003 world championships in Paris, she ran the 100m again. At the 2003 Asian Championships held in Manila, she took bronze in 6.50m.
Silver at the Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad, India at 6.30m.
She won her first and only SEA Games title in the Hanoi SEA Games with a leap of 6.21m, this was also followed up with a bronze in the 100m in 11.61.
The last time Filipino women local heritage would win a SEA Games medal.
She reached the high point of her career at 30 during the Asian Grand Prix recording 6.56m and equaling the National Record of Elma Muros Posadas at Colombo.
In the 2005 Asian Championships in South Korea, she was 6th 6.40m and SEA Games silver in 6.45m.
Her last major competition was the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar where she was 12th in 5.71m.
Shortly after this, she retired to coach the Men’s 4×400 and future star Katherine Khay Santos. She coached the Men’s 4×400 until she retired in 2017.