Rizal’s legacy lives on through arnis in Dapitan City | Inquirer News

Rizal’s legacy lives on through arnis in Dapitan City

/ 12:18 PM June 23, 2024

In Dapitan, Rizal’s legacy lives on in arnis

Dapitan City Mayor Frederick Seth Jalosjos, a Doce Pares player, accepted a ceremonial arnis match challenge by Italian ranks master Andrea Rollo. (Photo by Julie S. Alipala)

DAPITAN CITY — During the commemoration of the 163rd birth anniversary of national hero Jose Rizal here on Wednesday, Neither Cataylo, 14, performed with Alnick Linda, 19, the Sayaw-Anyo or dance with sticks, a non-aggressive form of martial art called arnis.

The national martial art was a key feature of the celebration in Dapitan City spearheaded by the local government.


Mayor Frederick Seth Jalosjos told the INQUIRER.net that they had chosen to relive the legacy of Rizal to young students by inspiring them to take up the sport.

In Dapitan, Rizal’s legacy lives on in arnis

Neithan Cataylo, 14, from Bais City, performs Sayaw-Anyo. (Photo by Julie S. Alipala)

A player of the Doce Pares, Jalosjos urged the government to pay equal attention to promoting arnis, like any contact sports or martial arts.

“Arnis is a national sport. It was also Jose Rizal’s way of life before. He brought the same sport escrima or kali here and taught the young Dapitanons during his exile,” he noted.

“He left behind our very own arnis. Let’s teach and promote arnis. This is something rooted in the life of Rizal, he being a martial artist himself,” Jalosjos pointed out.

To jumpstart the effort, the Dapitan City local government convened a national arnis competition that opened on Wednesday, in time for Rizal’s birth anniversary.

City tourism officer Apple Marie Agolong said the competition drew 300 participants from across the country, including Cataylo and Linda who are from Bais City in Negros Oriental.

For local families, the drive to promote arnis among the young takes on another reason – that is, conquering ‘gadget addiction.’

In Dapitan, Rizal’s legacy lives on in arnis

Neithan Cataylo, 14, from Bais City, performs Sayaw-Anyo. (Photo by Julie S. Alipala)

Reyshan Ydann Taghap, 16, admitted that she was at first hesitant to learn arnis when her parents enrolled her in the summer clinic some years back.

“My mother’s intention was to keep me away from my cellular phone, and all I wanted was to stay at home,” Taghap recalled.

“After more than a month of training in arnis, I learned to love it. I developed self-confidence while also learning to defend myself in case there are some bad people,” she said.

She added she also improved her social skills with constant interaction with other players.

Leovemar Cris Hamoy, an arnis coach, said for his students in Dapitan, the sport has become a way to protect children, both online and offline.

“For them, it’s a choice between sticks or gadgets. If Rizal were alive today, he would be disheartened to see the youth glued on gadgets,” he said.

“I am very happy to see with my own eyes that in the place where Rizal taught arnis to his pupils, there are still many children who practice this amazing martial art,” said Andrea Rollo, an Italian martial arts master.

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“I hope this is just a beginning, to unite us in promoting Filipino martial arts and Rizal’s heritage,” he added.


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