TO PROMOTE arnis as the national sport in Baguio City, the University of the Cordilleras and Baguio City Arnis Federation spearheaded a three-day arnis training workshop at the UC covered court last March 5 to 7.

Leo Carino, president of the Baguio City Arnis Federation, said the workshop was organized to train the physical education teachers and the martial arts club instructors’ new techniques in arnis.

“At the same time we also want to promote it as the Philippine national sport,” Carino said.

Last December 11, 2009, Congress approved Republic Act 9850, declaring eskrima or arnis as the national sport. The new law mandates arnis as a physical education course and will be one of its priorities in the 2010 Palarong Pambansa.

The seminar workshop was suppose to be slated in BSU, however, UC PEHM (Physical Education Health and Music) and Arts Society requested to sponsor the event because of its vision of integrating it as a major basic PE subject in coming school year.

“For the benefit of our PE faculty members, we requested the seminar workshop. It’s a great opportunity for us kasi our faculty enjoys the training for free,” Danilo Congo, UC PEHM department head said.

World Eskrima Balintawak Arnis Federation (WEBAF) secretary general Maximo C. Caballes led the training workshop and will also spearhead another workshop in Tarlac in preparation of the Palarong Pambansa this April 11 to 18.

He is the current arnis commissioner of Cebu City, a grand master and founder of the Arnis de Caballes, which aims to provide avenues whereby contribution, ability, and potential in the practice of the art can be recognized, promoted, and achieved.

“I’m very happy and proud I was the one selected to be the speaker of this workshop. Napakaganda ng activity na ito dahil hindi lang mga techniques ang matutunan niyo instead may mga moral lessons din na matututunan. Kasi ang gusto namin bukod sa magiging kilala ang Pinoy bilang kampeon, they will be known as being respectful, honest and loyal,” Caballes said.

The arnis workshop was attended by the PE teachers in the elementary, high school and college levels. Around 50 delegates coming from the province of Benguet, Apayao, Ifugao, La Union and Baguio City participated. (Rex Bate)

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