Humakot ng ginto! Migz Zubiri lauds PH arnisadores’ feat in 2019 SEA Games
Arnis is the “most bemedaled” sport of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for the Philippines.
“We did our best with 14 golds, 4 silvers and 2 Bronze medals to show for it,” said Senator Migz Zubiri.
Zubiri, president of the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF), was himself an arnis world champion and an advocate of the sports.
“Post-SEA Games, we will spearhead the promotion of arnis in more countries with upcoming international matches to further strengthen our athletes’ competitive edge,” he said.
“Coming together as a national team took a lot of effort, resources and motivation from all Filipino arnisadores,” Zubiri said.
“Our underlying strength comes from a deep history kept alive by our present day grandmasters,” he said.
Zubiri noted that the present crop of arnis athletes and coaches drew a lot from the legacy of all Arnis styles from all parts of the country.
Through Republic Act 9850, it was declared in 2009 the national martial art and sport.
In 2017, he organized PEKAF, which “eventually won the nod of the Philippine Olympics Committee (POC) as the National Sports Association (NSA) for arnis.”
“After a year, we launched a search for the finest and fittest through regional qualifiers that concluded with the National Battle of the Champions,” he said.
To promote arnis in grass roots development, PEKAF participated in the PSCs Batang Pinoy, Philippine National Games, as well as the Palarong Pambansa.
“We also worked with the standards set by an International Governing Body for Arnis, the WEKAF (World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation),” Zubiri said.
With the passage of the law and the organization of PEKAF, arnis will be “a true grassroots martial art and sport,” he said.
“We campaigned for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and POC to include Arnis as a competition sports,” Zubiri said.
“Then, the selection of competitors for the SEA Games commenced with a Team A and Team B both well prepared to fight for medals,” he added.