THE Filipino martial arts of arnis will most likely be included in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games when the Philippines hosts biennial meet again.
Members of the arnis community got this assurance from Philippine Sports Commission William “Butch” Ramirez during the First National Arnis Congress hosted by the PSC last Thursday.
Arnis was last included in the SEA Games in 2005.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was named chairman during an election held by newly formed national unified organization, is supportive of the move.
Arnis organizations recently formed a national unified organization, with over 270 Grand Masters and Masters from clubs, associations, federations and confederations from all over the country.
The group, which has yet to have an official name, represents all major arnis styles.
“I will make sure that no one should be left behind, that no student should be disallowed from joining competitions, that no organization, or school, should be discriminated from financial assistance from government or by the unified organization, and that no Grand Master, past or present, will ever be forgotten,” said Zubiri, who is a world champion in the sports from 1988 to 91.
Grand Master Rene Tongson said in a statement that the Philippines has a lot of catching up to do in arnis compared with other countries.
Rep. Monsour Del Rosario, the Secretary General of the Philippine Taekwondo Association, who observed the proceedings on behalf of the Philippine Olympic Committee, expressed his full support to the objectives and activities of the Arnis Congress.
He announced projects to fully document its history and support its propagation nationwide in partnership with the newly formed national unified organization.