Issue Number: #
By Ed Peregrino – September 9/09/08
EP: Hello PG, kumusta na po?
PG: Mabuti po naman.
EP: Another year for the EXPO, how do you feel about that?
PG: I am very excited about this year’s event! We will have several representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines supporting and participating.
I am also expecting a few other civilian groups traveling from the Philippines to join us and partake in this most prestigious event. We will also showcase the 1st Pamana ng Lahi honoring some of the top Grandmasters who have contributed greatly to the growth of WFMAA and awareness of FMA in the United States.
Whew! It’s been a long year of painstaking preparation, improvement, development and production of such an event. Most people will not understand this long process until they have stepped in my shoes for the last year.
This is our 6th annual WFMAA Expo & Laban Laro event and it has been a great pleasure, honor and an experience from day one. Every year brings new challenges that my team and I learn from. Mostly the rewarding experiences always outweigh the obstacles that come with the territory.
Overall, it has been worthwhile to all who have applied themselves, acted upon and have followed through with their promises and have sacrificed for the good of all in the FMA. I foresee a strong future for this association.
EP: So what is this I hear about a “Pamana ng Lahi?” What is “Pamana ng Lahi”?
PG: Pamana ng Lahi is our version of the Hall of Fame, but with more Filipino hospitality, tradition and culture. It is definitely not your typical Hall of Fame and only done every 2 years.
The following is our selection process when reviewing the candidates. The recipient must meet the following criteria:
- Must be a current WFMAA member in good standing.
- Must be a Master or Grandmaster Level.
- Must have legitimate lineage from the family FMA system or directly from a Grandmaster.
- Must be teaching FMA and have active students.
- Must have contributed at previous WFMAA events as a featured instructor, and continue to promote the association.
- Must have contributed to the growth and awareness of the FMA by teaching in their respective region in the USA or abroad.
- The candidates then are carefully reviewed by Ama Guro Rufino “Raffy” Pambuan and me.
I have personally experienced several Hall of Fame events in the past and have been simply disappointed. I don’t believe in paying money for the recognition and honor. Recognition for oneself should be earned and deserved.
Pamana ng Lahi’s board of directors are current members of the WFMAA with high regard and passion for the promotion and propagation of the FMA. The honorees are selected by these directors.
EP: What separates this “Pamana ng Lahi” from all other Hall of Fames?
PG: Our Pamana ng Lahi is not about recognizing famous people or simply those who have succeeded financially.
The selection process is not about who can pay the nomination fee, essentially paying for their awards and dinner banquet.
In fact, our Pamana ng Lahi is not about making money or raising funds to increase the strength of an organization.
It is a prestigious event created to recognize those Masters and Grandmasters deserving of a great honor and respect for their life-long efforts to promote the FMA, demonstrate their passion and love for their art, and their undying dedication to improve themselves through consistent training, and teaching their students to achieve the same.
No fees, no egos and no politics.
EP: Do you have to pay to be nominated?
PG: There is absolutely no fee to be nominated. However, the honoree must be in attendance to receive the honor. The awards will not be mailed.
EP: Do you have to be a member of the WFMAA?
PG: Candidates must be a current member of the WFMAA with outstanding record. It’s truly about action, participation, sharing and brotherhood.
You cannot have these without making the effort to be present. A member must be active in order to reap the benefits of the association.
EP: Why did you start this and what do you hope to accomplish with the “Pamana ng Lahi”?
PG: Pamana ng Lahi was founded by Ama Guro Rufino “Raffy” Pambuan and me to elevate the Filipino, the Culture, and the Legitimacy of the Art and strengthen the Brotherhood amongst all FMA practitioners and teachers.
It is meant simply to help recognize those few who have unselfishly shared in the propagation and development of our beloved art and to establish a strong vehicle to recognize and promote our Masters and Grandmasters.
EP: Any last message to our reader?
PG: Don’t take the short cut to the top!
Recognition can be purchased, but respect can only be earned.
I can summarize my answer by quoting the late Professor Remy Amador Presas – “It is not what you say the counts, it is your actions that speaks loudest and this is what people will remember you by.” Of course, he said these in Tagalog.
Mabuhay kayong lahat!