CAGAYAN de Oro would become the next arnis capital of the Philippines.
This was the assertion made by Arnis Philippines (Arpi) regional coordinator Ronald Farol following the satisfactory achievements made by some local arnis players who joined several national competitions recently.
Farol’s statement came after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo officially signed on December 11 Republic Act No. 9850 which declared arnis as the country’s national martial art and sport.
He said that the law’s passage will insure the preservation of arnis as part of the nation’s heritage and will instill in the minds of the Filipinos the sense of nationalism, patriotism, national unity and identity.
He added that there are a lot of local arnis clubs situated all over the country but need further remarkable performance in competitions.
“We note top caliber arnis player coming from Aklan, Tacurong and Cebu City,” he said.
Farol said Arpi national head Arnold Velayo lobbied for the approval of the Bill in both Houses of Congress since the time of former senator Orly Mercado in 1995, the late senator Robert Barbers and Rep. Miguel Zubiri in 2001.
The lawmakers who signed the bill into law are Senators Manuelito Lapid, Miguel Zubiri, Mar Roxas, Richard Gordon, Ramon Revilla Jr., Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Representatives Arthur Pingoy Jr., Pryde Henry Teves, Cesar Jalosjos, Nanette Castelo Daza and Narciso Santiago III with the help of Arpi directors Servillano Padiz Jr., Ramon Dizon, Medardo Quiambao and Richmond Velayo.
The new law mandates arnis as a physical education course for the DepEd and will be one of its priorities in the 2010 Palarong Pambansa.
Arnis is being practiced in all five clusters of the Philippine Olympic Festival and in all 17 regions in the Palarong Pambansa, the national-based sports program promulgated by the Department of Education, all in coordination with Arpi.
Founded in 1986, Arpi is the 33rd official member of Philippine Olympic Committee and recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Arpi also successfully lobbied for the inclusion of arnis in the 1991 and 2005 SEA Games.
article by Lito Rulona of Gold Star Daily