By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA,Philippines; Arnis, the Filipino martial art which uses rattan sticks as weapons, is on the verge of being formally declared the Philippines’ national sport.

The House of Representatives has already approved on third and final reading a bill declaring Arnis as the national sport and transmitted it to the Senate where arnis enthusiast, Senator Miguel Zubiri, was expected to take the lead in its approval.

South Cotabato Rep. Arthur Pingoy Jr., the main author of House Bill 6516, said arnis deserved to be hailed as the national sport considering that it has evolved as a distinct martial art along with judo karate and taekwondo.

Pingoy said it was about time to elevate arnis considering that it has spawned avid practicioners not only in the Philippines but also in other countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany, among others, where international Arnis federations and organizations have mushroomed.

Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves said that the bill would finally address the “collective sentiment to put arnis in its rightful historical place in the country.”

Once enacted into law, Teves said that the arnis symbol would be inscribed as a symbol into the official seal of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and included as one of the official sports in the Palarong Pambansa.

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