Eskrima supreme grandmaster, Cacoy Cañete, 96
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Filipino martial arts community is mourning the death of supreme grandmaster Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete who died at 8:08 p.m. on Friday at the age of 96.
Cacoy, a world famous martial artist, and the last founding leaders of the oldest Eskrima organization in the country, Doce Pares, died at Chiong Hua Hospital, two weeks after he was admitted for prostate cancer, which was first diagnosed in 2008, according to grandson Chuck Anthony Cañete.
Chuck said his grandfather underwent surgery and was cured.
But the cancer recurred, he added.
Cacoy is survived by six of his seven children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
His wife Herminia died in 1999 and one of his seven children died also in 2001.
Grand master Catherine Kitty Cañete Knight, executive vice president of Cacoy Doce Pares World Federation, said in her FaceBook page, that Cacoy was also last of the great original teachers and developers of the unique Filipino martial arts, eskrima, which traced back to the time of Lapu-Lapu, the Mactan chieftain who killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
“He was the last of the Mohicans,” she wrote.
Cacoy’s wake will be held at the St. Peter’s Memorial Chapel at the New Imus Road in Cebu City from Feb. 6 to 14.
Chuck said requiem Mass was set at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 at San Nicolas Parish before the funeral procession to Queen City Memorial Garden at Don Andres Soriano Avenue, Cebu City.
Cacoy, a captain in the United States Army Forces in the Far East in World War II, would be given a 21-gun salute, said Knight in her post.
Chuck also posted a tribute to his grandfather on his FaceBook wall: “Papa, thank you for everything. I love you! The ‘kumbati (fight)’ is over. Rest in peace, Papa Cacoy. Missing you already.”
“It won’t be the same without you, papa. But I know you are happy now. We will make you proud. That’s a promise!” Chuck said in an earlier post.