AS DOCE Pares is heading strong towards a grander celebration next year, Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio Cañete could not help but look back through the years of struggle and frustrations that made the indigenous Filipino Martial Arts what it is today.

“We struggled through the years of diversity. Since the start of Doce Pares in 1932, there were a lot of trials that we had to go through. But we are grateful that we survived them all and now we are celebrating our 84th anniversary with a greater goal towards teaching our youth to learn Arnis. This is the art that we were taught since we were children and we will try to teach this art to our children and their children’s children,” Cañete told Sun.Star Cebu.

Anniversary

Last Dec. 30, more than 30 grandmasters from the different eskrima clubs attended the anniversary celebration at the Doce Pares International Headquarters in Sto. Niño Village in Banilad, Cebu City, which was also attended by foreign students who sought promotion.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who was the guest of honor in the event, believed that Doce Pares is heading in the right direction in propagating the arts among young Filipinos.

“SGM Diony is now working on a book that will guide our teachers on how to teach arnis to schoolchildren. Doce Pares is also a vital part in the planned change within our National Sports Association (NSA) of arnis. So basically you are on the right track. Therefore, my challenge to you is to keep what you have been doing, because that is what is right,” Fernandez said.

Frustrations

The lack of interest among a big number of Filipino youth in learning arnis is one of the frustrations of SGM Cañete.

But now he is on the final stages with his negotiations with the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 7 to make his book as the official instructional materials for teachers since its modules, curriculum and standards were approved and accredited by the Technical Education Authority (Tesda).

“Under Republic Act 9850, which declares arnis as the national sports, and must be taught in schools, there are no real standards on how to teach arnis to the students. That is why I came up with a book and this is approved and accredited by Tesda. And I am in the final process with my negotiations with DepEd 7 to make this book the official instructional materials to guide the teachers. We will also teach the teachers and the students for free. These techniques and methods are adopted by 48 countries who are members of the World Eskrima Kali-Arnis Federation (Wekaf), and Senator Migs Zubiri is looking forward to having our techniques as the right way to teach, and conduct tournaments for schools in the country,” SGM Diony continued.

Aside from helping Zubiri clean up arnis NSA, Doce Pares is also busy in its upcoming activities—the Doce Pares World Championship in Las Vegas in April and the Wekaf World Championship in Honolulu, Hawaii in July 2018.