Arnis since 2005 has been part of the Palarong Pambansa, the biggest sporting event in the country. However, it was only part of the demo-events during the 2005-2006 Palarong Pambansa in Naga City and was finally included as one of the sporting events during the 2007 Palarong Pambansa in Koronadal, South Cotabato. In history books, the use of Arnis is said to be deadly as that of the bladed weapons if one fully discover its potential, however, like any other sports, Arnis builds self-confidence, self-discipline and respect, promotes a sense of nationalism.
Education Task Force Head for School Sports Feliciano Toledo said that the Department of Education (DepEd) supported Senate Bill 1424 which aims to make Arnis, a local form of martial arts that uses sticks as weapons, a national sport. The bill is supported by Senator Miguel Zubiri. “Although Arnis has a history of warfare, we will change that perspective by transforming this into a physical activity that will urge humans to connect and play,” Toledo said. “There has to be a national sport… and Arnis should be it because it is part of our history,” he added. Velayo lamented continuing misconception about other sports including Sepak Takraw as a Filipino sport. “Sepak Takraw is not a Filipino word. It is a mixed of Thai and Malay, and yet it is being promoted as ours”. He said the declaration of Arnis as a national sport will allow the country to impart the Filipino culture to countries where Arnis is yet to be introduced as a sport. “Arnis has been part of the South East Asian Games (SEAGAMES) and is also practiced in Japan and Korea. But we are yet to make aware countries especially those outside Asia that there is arnis and it is ours,” Velayo added. There is high optimism that the bill, including a similar version from Senator Lito Lapid, makes it to a third reading in the Senate and also gets encouraging attention in the Lower House until Arnis becomes as a national sport.
Source: Official Website of Roxas City, Capiz