Thursday, November 12, 2009

Arnis, Soon to Be the Philippines' National Sport

Arnis, according to historian Joseph L. Galleon is the Chabacano for the Spanish word arnes or armor.

Arnis is a Filipino martial arts using sticks in fighting, as against empty-handed Filipino combats such as panantukan or dumog.

This year, two bills, "
An Act Declaring Arnis as the Philippine National Sport" introduced by Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, and "An Act Declaring Arnis as the National Sport of the Philippines" introduced by Sen. Manuel "Lito" M. Lapid are being consolidated into one comprehensive bill before approval, eliminating the words kali having no no real and clearly documented or historical basis and "modern" in "modern arnis" to avoid misinformation.

Department of Education Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya cited that there is no existing official national sport in the country, and that sipa, or sepak takraw, is obviously "baseless and incorrect". Furthermore, Mr. Ed Robles of the National Commission for Culture and Arts added that the NCCA agree that Arnis should be declared as the official national sport of the Philippines.

I happened to chance upon an Arnis tournament at Robinson's Place, Bacolod and noticed how the Arnis practitioners use Filipino language and tradition in the sport.

I noticed that they used the Philippine national colors in their Arnis uniforms. The opposing teams wear blue and red uniforms called bugaw (blue) and pula (red).

So I made a little research about Arnis as I felt national pride surge in me as I witness how the children engage themselves in the soon to be the Philippines' national sport, Arnis.

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