On August 8th and 9th 2015, Pistahan will be hosting its 22nd annual parade and festival. Drawing in as many as 75,000 people a day, Pistahan prides itself on being the largest celebration of Filipino culture in the United States. Pistahan wishes to continue this legacy as they team with Eskabo Daan to host the martial arts pavilion.
Joseph Bautista credits Eskabo Daan’s prestige within the martial arts community for this opportunity.
“Because we have a strong presence within the Filipino and FMA community, it only makes sense that a school with our presence is willing to take it, and so we did.”
Bautista explains that this year will be unlike any other before, as nine different martial arts systems will be showcased, making this the largest gathering of Filipino martial arts systems in the history of Pistahan.
“We will have more offerings for demonstrations, more offerings for workshops, more offerings for people to learn the beauty of Filipino martial arts. There will be people all across the Bay Area coming that represent the Philippines in its entirety, North to the South.”
The martial arts systems include: KaJuKenBo-Escrima, East Bay Kombatan, Eskabo Daan, Giron Escrima Arnis Bahala Na, Latosa Escrima,Visayan Corto Kadena Eskrima, ONE-on-ONE-Filipino-Martial-Arts and Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Global Organization.
One system in particular called Lagas Tapado 7th Chamber, will be making its United States debut from the Philippines.
The art of Tapado, unlike most Filipino martial arts, utilizes the use of a staff approximately 3 feet long and does not take influence from Spanish or Asian arts, making it a pure indigenous martial art.
But other than showing how eclectic the Filipino martial arts are, Eskabo wishes to keep family atmosphere of Pistahan and teach the art through different avenues.
“Cultural games will be a way to introduce people to Filipino martial arts. A lot of people know nothing about FMA but we think games and play are a great way to have people experience it and would be more willing to try that out before martial arts.”
But in order to bring out the martial arts’ side of history Eskabo Daan is also “…bringing historical artifacts so we can have a cultural side of it as well.”
In addition to that, Eskabo Daan has also reached out to Guro Michelle Bautista who is the keeper of Filipino martial arts’ origin story.
With the incorporation of games and stories, Bautista wishes to show the world the beauty of Filipino martial art culture.
“Filipino martial arts are my opinion is the biggest treasure that is hidden to most Filipinos and only those who train in Filipino martial arts understand that treasure and understand the wealth behind it, we want to share that.”
This year’s Pistahan promises to be momentous not only for the Filipino martial arts community, but for the Filipino American community as a whole.
Eskabo Daan strives to give Filipino martial arts its rightful place in Filipino culture and bring Filipino Americans closer to their identities.