PH batting for arnis’ permanent SEAG inclusion
The Philippines is working to include its national sport of arnis in the regular calendar of events in the Southeast Asian Games starting next year.
This was announced Sunday by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is now the president and chair of the Filipino Escrima Kali Arnis Federation during their National Capital Region qualifying for the national team at Philsports Arena.
“It’s about time we get included in the SEA Games,” said Zubiri, whose vision doesn’t stop in the conclave the country will host next year.
“Give us 10 years (and) we’ll be in the Asian Games’ roster (of events),” he added as his proposal got the support of SEA Games chief of mission Monsour del Rosario.
The Indonesian martial arts of pencak silat is a regular sport in the SEA Games and is candidate for inclusion in the Asian Games main sports.
The last time arnis made it to the biennial meet was in 2005 when the Philippines won three of the five golds at stake.
“Sadly, we failed to maximize our hosting back then as far as arnis is concerned,” said Zubiri. “Now the Philippine Olympic Committee was asking me if I can do 20 (golds) and I said yes right away.’
Some 600 participants from different clubs in the National Capital Region took part in the tournament.
Similar qualifying meets were held for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Champions in those legs will vie for Philippine team slots in the national championships in July.
“I can assure that we’ll be sending only the best “arnisadors” in the 2019 SEA Games, because all parts of the country were represented in these qualifying legs,” added Zubiri.