On March 17th 2015, Eskabo Daan was voted Best Martial Arts for Channel 7’s Bay Area A-List. This win is Eskabo Daan’s third Best in the Bay title in three years, making them the only Filipino martial arts school to win consecutively. Master Joseph Bautista felt their previous wins served as a double edged-sword as they entered the contest with prestige, but that prestige also motivated the competition “…to try and get the crown from us.” Bautista also began to wonder if Eskabo’s supporters were beginning to feel worn out from participating. “This year we asked to vote for the Bay Guardian one and in the following months, it was this one. We were worried if we were asking for too much, too soon or if we were tiring everyone out with all of our requests for votes.”
But the galvanized competition and doubts only fueled Eskabo Daan’s drive. “I really wanted this win more than any other win. It’s one thing to win it one time, another thing to win it two times but, as you know, in sports or anything else, if you win three times in a row, it sets the bar and it really sets a name for yourself. Moving forward, I don’t really care for a fourth win, it would be nice, but I think three in a row really makes the name for Filipino martial arts and that’s what we strive to do.
Bautista explained that one of Eskabo Daan’s goals is to promote Filipino martial arts as a whole and feels this win is shared with the Filipino martial arts community. “I am unaware of any Filipino martial arts system to win a regional or local award like that, let alone two or three times. This would actually be our fourth time being recognized in the San Francisco Bay Area across two different contests; one is the Bay Guardian and this one, the Channel 7 Bay Area A-List. For us to win four… it’s only good for Filipino martial arts.”
Bautista also believes winning Best in the Bay transcends martial arts into Filipino-American community. “For those who knew nothing about Filipino martial arts, hopefully now they know and they are aware it exists. For those who are aware that it exists, and want the same thing we do which is for it to propagate, preserve and move forward, then we think the (Filipino-American) community has won this for Filipino martial arts.”
When asked what his feelings were on being considered a “dynasty,” he replied, “Humbled. I think it’s an honor really… like in sports, winning once is hard, twice is even harder, three times is a dynasty, but we wouldn’t have won any awards had it not been for the support of the community. We were up against a school that had quadruple the numbers we had, but because we do all the cultural events and we are helping preserve the culture and history, people saw that and backed us. Without them, we wouldn’t have won any awards, period.”
Eskabo Daan believes their win is a step further in their goal to make Filipino martial arts known. Regardless of style or origin, Eskabo will continue to go above and beyond to ensure Filipino martial arts will live through the generations.