Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MAG TV Na, Amiga! Features RP's Nat'l M.A. & Sport of Arnis By: James U. Sy Jr.

MAG TV Na, Amiga! featured the Philippines' National Martial Art and Sport of Arnis as a segment of its special presentation of Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) and its Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival last February 21, 2010 over at ABS-CBN.

The segment on Arnis highlighted the passing of Republic Act No. 9850 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as “An act declaring Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport of the Philippines“ last December 11, 2009.

Giving the historical and linguistic background of Arnis, or Eskrima in Cebuano, as an indigenous Filipino Martial Art (FMA) was Negros martial arts researcher/historian/writer James U. Sy Jr., Founder/Master of the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc.

Giving the demonstrations for a number of Negrosanon systems of Arnis were 1st Generation Inheritor/Grandmaster Benefredo “Bebing” M. Lobrido of the Taloc, Bago City-based Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc., Founder/Grandmaster Elmer V. Montoyo of the Philippine Integrated Martial Arts Academy-Filipino Tang Soo Do Association (PIMAA-FTSDA), Inc., and OFT Master Dr. Raymund Antonio A. Maguad, LVA Senior Instructor John Owen F. Ong, and LVA/OFT Instructors Lafayette A. Diamante, RN, and Lorema “Bing” H. Tacsagon of CMAS.

The group, representing the Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Art Schools (IFFMAS), performed Original Filipino Tapado long and short stickfighting of Bago City, Lapu-Lapu ViƱas Arnis (LVA) of Bacolod City, Filipino Tang Soo Do of Bacolod City, and Conceptual Doble Baston and Pang-agaw among others.

Interviews were also made for a few elementary and high school PE teachers and demonstrations by their students. With the signing of RA 9850 into law, Arnis has again been reintroduced in the Philippine educational system as a form of fitness for the youth of the republic.

The official rules adopted by the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS) is that established by Arnis Philippines (ArPi), the sole recognized National Sport Association (NSA) of Sport Arnis by the Philippine Government, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and the Philippine Sport Commission (PSC). Arnis Philippines, founded in 1986, is currently headed by its President, Raymund A. Velayo. Its Negros Occidental Commissioner is Grandmaster Danilo “Danny” Cardinal. Sy is the PIO of the Bacolod/Negros Occidental Chapter of the association.

The primary feature on Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) showed the municipality adopting Arnis/Escrima, or more commonly known as Kali in the US, as one of its cultural heritages. Under the leadership of Hon. Mayor Lawrence Marxlen J. de la Cruz, DSB celebrated its 29th Founding Anniversary and 20th Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival last February 6-9. 2010. DSB is the youngest municipality in Negros Occidental.

DSB is known for its Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival, which was originally known as Halad “Offering (Cebuano/Hiligaynon),” a celebration and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival had been successful in attracting tourists to the town, which is also known as the summer capital of the Philippines because of its cold climate.

The feature also showed the various crops of DSB such as the pineapple as well as its varied products, customs, and culture. A significant portion of the segment showcased the street dancing competition of the Kali-Kalihan Harvest Festival.

Also in the episode was Phemmostocles A. Belleza, originally of Northern Negros Occidental. He demonstrated the Negrosanon esoteric arts as he practice them by applying boiling oil on his arms and face without scalding or injury. He also showed several lana/potions which he have for protection. He talked about the use of prayers and stressed that such knowledge are not to be abused.

MAG TV Na!, started in 2008, is the brand of regional talk/magazine show of the various ABS-CBN Regional Network Group stations in the Philippines. MAG TV Na, Amiga! is the version designed and broadcasted by the Western Visayas Regional Network Group. The hosts of the program are Carmela Gamboa, Sedfrey Cabaluna, and Jeffrey Javines.

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