Cebu is getting a promotion boost as the World’s Arnis Capital after martial arts school, Doce Pares, forged a partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Region 7.
The Central Visayas island of Cebu, renowned worldwide as a popular travel destination for its natural beauty and tourist spots, will now also be promoted as a sports destination.
Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio “Diony” Canete of Doce Pares and DOT-7 Regional Director Shahlimar Tamano made the partnership official at the Awarding and Fellowship Dinner held at Hotel Fortuna on August 13.
The announcement of the partnership to promote Cebu as the World’s Arnis Capital was made in the recognition ceremony of the 19 Australians, led by Master Mark Toussaint, who underwent a 10-day training at Doce Pares Headquarters located at Sto. Niño Village, Barangay Banilad in Cebu City.
“This is a happy moment for us. When we started this partnership with Doce Pares, the idea really is to institutionalize Cebu as the arnis capital of the world,” Director Tamano said.
In the event, SGM Canete announced that more than 1,000 arnis fighter from 50 countries will participate in the upcoming 16th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) Championships to be held in Cebu in 2020.
“We are moving towards another direction. Instead of me going abroad to conduct seminars, we are now asking them to come to Cebu if they want to learn the art of eskrima/arnis. In this manner, we can also promote the Philippines especially Cebu to other countries,” said SGM Canete on the opportunity of highlighting Cebu and promoting arnis even more.
“I had to cut short my European tour because of this training camp. We are supposed to be back by August 26, but because of this we had to cut short and promised them that I would be back in Europe before the end of the year. Next year all seminars and training camps will be done in Cebu. Many would want that, because we will be hosting the biggest ever world championship in July 2020,” SGM Canete added.
Mark Toussaint, the WEKAF country director and head of Doce Pares Australia admired how Doce Pares conducted the training which was part of their preparation for their qualifying tournament scheduled next year and described the Pinoy arnis as “the most comprehensive and the most complete form of martial art.”
“It practically covers all styles and all classes of martial arts,” said Mark Toussaint.
The Filipino indigenous martial art is fast gaining the world’s attention as it was featured in various media platforms such as in the upcoming Pinoy anime-styled series “Kamagong” which is based on the works of comics creator Carlo J. Caparas, and performed by Maisie Williams in the worldwide hit TV series Game of Thrones.
Filipino Pixar illustrator and animator Bobby Rubio had also incorporated the arnis in his latest comic book project called “Neighborhood Legend.” Arnis was also featured as the fighting technique of the TEKKEN character, Josie Rizal.
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