MORE than 100 competitors from Northern and Southern California joined the first Eskrima Invitational Tournament of the 26th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC).
Joel Jacinto, city commissioner of LA and co-founder of the FPAC, said there was a lot of excitement for this year’s celebration of the largest Filipino Festival in America because of the eskrima competition.
“We were very excited for this year’s festival as it is the first time FPAC will feature an eskrima tournament in our event. This tournament is very much in line with our theme for this year’s festival ‘Bridging Generations,’ and we aim to involve more Filipino-American youth,” Jacinto said.
The tournament was facilitated by LA Doce Pares, which is under the care of Cebuano Master Erwin Mosqueda and Wekaf USA Grandmaster Robert Garcia.
Team Pakamut won the overall championship and the gold medal and was followed by Doce Pares San Diego and Manaois Eskrima.
Doce Pares Supreme Grand Masters (SGM) Dionisio Cañete, president of Doce Pares and founder and chairman emeritus of World Eskrima Kali-Arnis Federation (Wekaf), attended the event along with his son and Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Pekaf) executive vice president Gerald Cañete, who stood in for Pekaf president and founder Sen. Miguel Zubiri.
“Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) is now very popular and very much in demand all over the world. I am confident that FMA will continue to have greater success and a bright future especially since there is a new NSA for Arnis/ Eskrima in the Philippines, the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Pekaf) headed by Senator Zubiri,” SGM Cañete added.
For their role in supporting and promoting eskrima, Cañete also presented a special award to Jacinto, Fil-Am LA Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson and musician Apple D Ap. (RCM)