The Philippine Navy all-rounder, El Joshua Cariño, is the 21st Pangasinan cycling champion since his province mate Rufino Gabot won the cycling championship in the eight-day Tour of Luzon in 1957. Since then, the next professional cycling races have marked the domination of Pangasinenses in Philippine cycling history.
El Joshua Cortez Cariño was born on 25 January 1993, in the Municipality of Mangaldan in Pangasinan.
The Navy Squad striker is the eighth among the nine children of Bienvenido Cariño, a retired craftsman, and Maria Cristina Cariño, a homemaker, contrary to a rumor that El Joshua and his brother Daniel Ven are the sons of former Marlboro Tour ’84 champion, Ruben Cariño.
Early in life, he exhibited his keen love for cycling as early as fifteen.
Equipped with his beater bike in nearby towns, like San Fabian, Dagupan, Damortis, Sto. Tomas, Agoo and Baguio City, he pursued his favorite pastime.
At the same time, El Joshua began joining barangay amateur races within Pangasinan.
In 2012, Pangasinan Club Team, managed by the Provincial Government, drafted aspiring El Joshua Cariño for LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2012.
During his brief stint in Team Pangasinan, the youngblood was ranked 18th overall in the individual general classification (GC) in the 2012 LBC Ronda Pilipinas road cycling competition.
After his one-month stay in Team Pangasinan, he joined the LBC six-man Continental team comprised of Ronald Oranza, Rustom Lim, John Mier, Mark Bonzo and Jemico Brioso. Cariño also teamed up with Continental riders like Ronald Lomotos and Junrey Navarra.
In LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2013, he topped in stage 5, held in Cebu Province. It was his first career stage win. Then, he finished the road cycling competition 5th overall in the GC. His LBC team was ranked 3rd overall in the team classification.
According to the plain-spoken PNSI rider, his lucky number is number 5—not to mention his stature—which is evident in the ensuing anecdotes.
Unfortunately, during the metric century LBC Ronda Pilipinas stage 4 competition in 2014, Cariño biffed as he overshot a hairpin bend in San Pablo, Laguna.
Thus, he finished the 2014 LBC Ronda Pilipinas 22nd overall in the GC.
In the same year, the LBC Continental team participated in different European and Asian countries, like Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Indonesia and Malaysia.
His journey with the LBC Team lasted from 2012 to 2014 before signing up for the newly formed Philippine Navy Standard Insurance. He then began rubbing elbows with the Navy Squad during LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2015.
In 2015, the multiple stage cycling competition, LBC Ronda Pilipinas, proclaimed him the Best Young Rider donning the Philippine Navy jersey. Though, he was 9th overall in the GC. His Philippine Navy team then seized the overall team classification the second time around.
In LBC Ronda Pilipinas Mindanao Leg 2016, the Pangasinan warrior overpowered rivals and dominated stage 5—his second time to win in stage 5. Then, he was ranked 5th overall in the GC. Cariño was then convinced that number five is promising for him. Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy Standard Insurance team clinched its third consecutive year as an overall Team Classification champion.
A year after, he skipped the much-anticipated LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2017 road cycling competitions in the interim to focus on military training.
As LBC Ronda Pilipinas organizers conducted the Luzon Qualifying race in Tarlac Province in September 2017, the Mangaldan pride won the grueling one-day competition. His win came after he and his youngest brother, Daniel Ven Cariño, bagged a peak and pedaled across the finish line in a heartwarming fashion.
Shortly afterward, the elder Cariño was officially proclaimed the victor of the LBC Luzon qualifying race.
As luck would have it, during LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2018, El Joshua Cariño nipped stage 5, becoming his third career lap 5 wins.
As the cycling competition concluded in Filinvest, Alabang, he finished 8th overall in the GC. Meanwhile, the PNSI Team lorded eleven professional competing teams as the Navy Squad won the general Team classification overall leadership—its five consecutive winning streaks since joining the summer spectacle, LBC Ronda Pilipinas, in 2012.
In 2018, when he would be forever immortalized in Philippine cycling history, El Joshua Cariño swept most of the Le Tour de Filipinas classifications, such as the overall leadership in the GC and the sprint. He also commenced the competitions by finishing 7th on stage 2, 1st on stage 3, during which the Cariño brothers stunned both the local and foreign spectators with yet another heartwarming, unparalleled and unprecedented 1 to 2 finish at the 180-km Solano to Lingayen UCI-sanctioned stage competition.
In the next stage race, stage 4, the elder Cariño finished 3rd.
El Joshua Cariño is the third Le Tour de Filipinas Pinoy champion, after Baler Ravina in 2012 and Mark Galedo in 2014, ever triumphed in the said annual UCI-sanctioned professional road cycling race. Thereby, Jessie Garcia, the two-time Tour of Picca and Tour of Luzon cycling champion, has acclaimed Cariño as the 21st cycling champion of Pangasinan.
In the long run, the annual cycling spectacle proclaimed the unrelenting Navy Team overall Team classification champion.
Unknown to some cycling buffs, the Navy Team also participated in BTV or Binh Duong Television Cycling Cup in Vietnam in 2018.
On stage 4 of the said cycling cup, Cariño beat the pants off his rivals but ultimately ranked 15th in the individual GC. The Navy Squad capped off the cycling competitions 2nd overall.
In 2019, as LBC Ronda Pilipinas metamorphosed into a UCI-sanctioned competition, the formidable PNSI rider placed second on stage 2 in Panay Region. Likewise, El Joshua obtained his fourth stage-5 win in his career. Simultaneously, LBC Ronda Pilipinas (International) 2019 awarded his teammate, Ronald Oranza, the Best Filipino rider.
After the race, Cariño ranked tenth in the GC, while Philippine Navy Standard Insurance was second in Team classification, ranking second to Matrix Japan.
In the same year, the Navy Squad also participated in PRUride PH 2019 UCI 2.2 races, attended by roughly 130 riders who comprised the twelve Continental teams, eight Elite clubs, and five National teams, held in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
The Navy Team conquered outright the UCI 2.2 competition overall Team classification as El Joshua Cariño settled in 11th place in the individual GC ranking.
Next up, the Philippine Navy took part anew in the 2019 BTV Cup in Vietnam. Cariño placed second on stage 5.
As the country hosted for the fourth time the Southeast Asian Games in November 2019, the National Cycling team was formed. Some riders from Philippine Navy, Go For Gold and 7-Eleven were drafted with high hopes of winning individual, team and stage honors under Coach Reinhard Gorantes and Coach Edz Hualda. Luckily, the Philippines garnered three golds, three silvers and four bronze medals from different cycling events and disciplines.
At the concluding part of the 30th SEA Games cycling event, Jonel Carcueva, Ismael Grospe, Junrey Navarra, El Joshua Cariño and Marcelo Felipe received bronze medals in the Men’s 130.4 km-road race.
Lastly, in the ten-stage LBC Ronda Pilipinas’ tenth edition, El Joshua Cariño proved his dominance in mountain climbing afresh as he had become LBC’s King of the Mountain, which he grabbed from Mark Galedo, from stage 4 until the end of the race. Consequently, the latest LBC Ronda Pilipinas edition awarded the 27-year-old Cariño the King of the Mountain.
Finally, the Philippine Navy has succeeded in winning their sixth Team classification overall championship in LBC Ronda Pilipinas since 2014.