LAST Wednesday, March 3 2010, I received a call from Master Dominguez of Manila asking for my help to assist the group of Master Hufana from the United States of America for their documentary about the art of arnis.

I said “yes!” right away, all for the good of the art of arnis. I was thinking that this is one good opportunity for arnis because a group of foreigners are interested to document the National Martial Arts and Sports of the Philippines. I was told by Master Dominguez that they are looking for a master who they could interview about his style of arnis and Master Dominguez asked me if I could do the interview. What a great opportunity to speak about arnis in the best I can.

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But I had to decline because I am in no position to do the interview. So I told Master Dominguez that I have to recommend Master Rolando Hong instead for the interview.

When we finally met with the group of Master Hufana, it was heartwarming to find out that Punong Guro Hufana is a Filipino, a US based Filipino Master who came home to do this milestone for arnis and help it attain its rightful recognition in the international martial arts circles.

It was an honor assisting the group of Master Hufana and introducing them to Master Rolando Hong, the only legitimate Master Arnis Sinco Teros style that I know of who lives in Baguio. Master Hufana said the documentary hopes to interview as many arnis masters as possible all over the Philippines to come up with a comprehensive documentary which would showcase Filipino culture and its heritage imbedded in the art of arnis.

I brought the group to the Centennial Park (formerly Botanical Garden) for the shoot, one of the places I know which is truly Baguio. The shoot went well because the foreigners saw exhibitions from Master Rolando Hong, Ayatollah Gadaoni and Christopher de Leon that showed traditional arnis and its sports aspect. Master Hong and Ayatollah showed one of the hearts of Masters Hong’s Sinco Teros and Christopher performed an anyo to show the sports side played here in the Philippines.

There were lots of sharing with both groups about the Filipino cultural influence arnis carries.

We Filipinos have this impression that those based abroad have a life far - better than us here in the Philippines - and so it is really heartwarming to meet people like Punong Guro Hufana who still cares about his heritage and the culture of his blood line. As Punong Guro Hufana said, “our martial arts is loved by foreigners, in Europe, and in the US to say the least, it would be a shame if we Filipinos do not do the same.” People like Punong Guro Hufana believes that something must be done for this purpose and it is their own way of helping arnis and Filipinos.

To Punong Guro Myrlino P. Hufana, Paul Quinn, and Brett McGinnis, thank you for coming and letting us know that we have people like you who are with us in the pursuit of uplifting our arnis heritage. We do this because we are by blood Filipinos, but you are doing this because you believe in arnis and for that we thank you.