MANILA – Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri hopes to see arnis in every Southeast Asian Games in the future.
“I am hopeful that in time, we can encourage even more participating countries to compete in the arnis games, so we can establish arnis as a SEA Games staple in the future,” Zubiri said in a statement on Wednesday.
Cambodia was the first SEAG host to include arnis, which was previously featured in the 2005 and 2019 editions held in the Philippines.
“This has been a fantastic comeback for arnis at the SEA Games. It was so exciting to see arnis being played competitively on a foreign stage, and to see foreign athletes mastering the sport, and posing a formidable challenge to our own athletes as well,” he said.
Zubir was in Cambodia over the weekend to support the arnis team and the Filipino athletes competing in the SEA Games in Phnom Penh.
As expected, the Filipinos dominated their national martial art and sport, winning 12 medals -- six golds, two silvers and four bronzes.
Cambodia finished second with two golds, six silvers and four bronzes followed by Myanmar with two golds, two silvers and eight bronzes and Vietnam with two golds, two silvers and four bronzes.
Charllote Ann Tolentino (women’s full contact padded stick bantamweight), Jedah Mae Soriano (women’s full contact padded stick lightweight), Ma. Ella Alcoseba (women's full-contact live stick bantamweight), Dexler Bolambao (men's full contact live stick bantamweight), Trixie Mary Lofranco (women's individual Anyo non-traditional open weapon) and Sam Delfin (men's individual Anyo non-traditional open weapon) emerged champions in the May 14-16 competition held at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center Hall A.
“We are so proud of our arnis team,” said Zubiri, who heads the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF). “I saw how much heart and hard work our arnisadors poured into their training, and it is so rewarding to see how all of that has paid off in another stellar SEA Games showing.”
The silver medals were from Jude Oliver Marie Rodriguez (women’s full contact live stick 50-55kgs), and Jeanette Agapito, Mary Allin Aldeguer, and Ma. Crystal Jane Sapio (women’s team event).
The bronze medalists were Ezekyl Habig (men’s full contact padded stick bantamweight), Noah Gonzales (men’s full contact padded stick lightweight), Niño Mark Talledo (men’s full contact live stick 60-65kgs), and Jeric Arce, Mackjohn Niel Pineda and Mark David Puzon (men’s Anyo team event). (PNA)