Wushu Federation turns five-A A +A
By Betsy Gazo
Saturday, April 21, 2012
TURNING five years old may be just another natural phase in life, but for Nelson Manahan it is a jubilant view of a two-decade wait.
On April 21, 2007, the Wushu Federation Bacolod and Negros Chapter was organized and chartered by Mr. Manahan with the help of his friends. Mr. Manahan has been teaching tai chi and wushu since the '80s. It was a dream of his to put up a gym, but it never materialized.
"I guess when it's not God's plan, it won't happen." Before a chapter is granted, certain qualifications must be met.
Mr. Manahan was a SEA Games gold medalist, and his love for the art is evident in his passion. "It was a dream come true," he recalls, referring to the granting of the chapter in 2007. "After a year (in 2008), we won at the National Championship held in the Mall of Asia." There the local delegates won 2 golds, 1 silver, and 5 bronzes.
Usually chapters around the Philippines have foreign instructors (from Mainland China) to train the athletes for the National Championships. It is only in Bacolod that training is given by a local instructor and that is Mr. Manahan himself.
The local federation has about 41 members (I'm one of them; wink, wink, nudge, nudge) the oldest being 75 years old and the youngest 9. We wish to add more members to our chapter. So, for everyone's information, tai chi sessions are held every Sunday at SM City at the South Parking Area from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, one can visit the Yong Tho Taoist Temple at C.L. Montelibano Avenue from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
"We would like to recruit the youth to tap their potential for the national tournament, even for the international competition. We are recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee," Mr. Manahan states. This means that we can send people to compete at the Olympics!
"We will be opening a gym in the near future to accommodate students and even walk-ins. We'll just require a small fee for the maintenance of the gym and the assistant instructor's allowance," our Head Coach Mr. Manahan said.
The organization is truly nonprofit for we members pay only P500 annually and are provided a T-shirt for our tai chi sessions.
"I just want to share my skill with people for health and wellness reasons. That was my dream ever since." He is a picture of health and, at 62, takes no maintenance medications. He attributes this blessing to tai chi.
Tai chi strengthens the 5 major organs of the body, i.e., the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the liver and the kidney. This martial art encourages blood circulation and circulation of the chi and restores energy.
A 72-year-old member of the federation had colon cancer and, during a visit to a doctor in Singapore, was told by the doctor that, if it weren't for the patient's practicing tai chi, he (the patient) would not have withstood the ravages of the disease.
Sir Nelson's generosity and passion for the sport knows no boundaries. Personal funds are often spent to promote it. At our Sunday practices, he would always be present to give support and tips and correct our stances. He always reminds us to perfect our forms.
As a beginner, I have to learn forms such as "holding the ball," "white crane spreads its wings," "playing the pipa," "brush knee and side step," "strike ears with fist" among 24 forms. Tai chi can have up to 108 forms. Whew! All steps are done with a half-squat which strengthens legs, thighs and the derriere. This martial art looks innocuous but can have you sweating in ten minutes.
Mr. Manahan says that tai chi keeps him young. "No wrinkles. I always smile. Laughter is the best medicine." It is also known as meditation in motion. Tai chi can give you a sense of well-being and lessen stress. Maybe that's the reason why Sir Nelson always smiles.
Happy 5th anniversary to our local Wushu Federation!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 21, 2012.