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Boosting indigenous games for tourism
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2004-08-16
Pinoy Martial Arts will be presented during a special musical program tomorrow, Aug. 18, at the PAGCOR Casino Filipino’s Alegria Function Room, Manila Pavilion on U.N. Avenue, in an effort to revive and promote Filipino native sports not only as a tourist product but as a form of entertainment among Filipinos. “Go ahead – play yoyo, sipa, the patintero, piko, sungka, palo sebo, bunong braso; the old dama game; trumpo; basag-palayok; pabitin; tumbang preso… These games are close to our hearts because we played them when we were children… and now, let our children play them and let every Filipino know and be aware of popular “Pinoy” Martial Arts, like the Arnis, Dulac, Tadyakan and Jendo,” said Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) General Manager Robert Dean Barbers.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, local and foreign visitors as well as martial arts enthusiasts were drawn to Robinson’s Place Manila during the mall tour of the Filipino indigenous games. Pinoy Ako! Laro Ko To! is a project launched by the Philippine Tourism Authority in support of these indigenous games.

"Filipino native games can be an instrument in attracting tourists in the country. It may one day be a part of an international sporting event," said Tourism Secretary Roberto Pagdanganan.

"Arnis for one has reached international shores. Many foreigners are coming here to study the authentic Filipino martial arts," he said.

The popular Filipino martial arts game of arnis was the highlight of the show. PTA Deputy General Manager Jose Dion Diaz even showed his prowess during the exhibit. Also included in the exposition was a dance competition depicting Filipino culture.

The DoT and PTA are hoping that through the sporting event both domestic and international tourism will increase in the country.

The mall tour of indigenous games was participated in by different martial arts clubs like the International Modern Arnis Federation Philippines, Tadyakan, Jendo, Wedo SCA and ARKADO. The event was sponsored by PAGCOR, GBX, Ginebra San Miguel, McDonald’s and Abenson.

On the other hand, the martial arts presentation tomorrow will be sponsored by News Sentral, a weekly tri-media forum held every Wednesday at the main restaurant of the Club Intramuros Golf Course on Bonifacio Drive, Intramuros, Manila.

News Sentral goes beyond the headlines, it is really an outreach to all Filipinos to become the vanguards of their country. By being so, it is highly informative since the forum deals with politics; business; health care, tourism and environment; transportation and communications; peace and order; science and technology; labor sector; entertainment and now – it has focused on Sports and Entertainment.

The News Sentral, headed by its founder-organizer journalist Maan V. Benetua and its senior moderator, veteran journalist, Atty. Manuel Almario (former editor of the Weekly Philippine Graphics), were recently inspired during a meeting of the PTA, by First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo’s adherence and attachment to sports. Atty. Arroyo said: Our Philippine indigenous games and local sports are our cultural heritage … and he added – when presented become attractive tourist come-ons.

This inspiring statement has made News Sentral joined hands with PTA deputy GM-Engr. Jose Dion D. Diaz, founder-chairman of the Indigenous Games, Sports-Savers Association of the Philippines (IGSSAP).

Engr. Diaz said: "Filipinos must not forget that sipa has been taken away from us by our neighbors: Malaysia and Indonesia. Now, our sipa is called by them, "Sepak Takraw;" it is a Malaysian word. And, our yoyo was almost taken away from us by Japan, when they claimed it, and started calling our yoyo the "Super Yoyo!."

Expected to attend the program-exhibition are: First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo; former senator Robert Barbers; PTA GM Dean Barbers; Cong. Juan Miguel Zubiri; former Defense Secretary Orlando "Orly" Mercado and Atty. Espiridion Laxa; president, Film Academy of the Philippines and the who’s who in the field of Martial Arts: Action stars Tony Ferrer, Roberto Gonzales, Roland Dantes, Monsour del Rosario, Ronnie Ricketts, Rey Malonzo and star-studded Generals expert in Martial Arts; Edgardo Aglipay; Rodolfo N. Caisip; Pedro Bulaong and WPD O.I.C. Col. Juanito de Guzman. They will be joined by stars of the Overseas Performing Artists (OPAs) plus several performers at the ballroom dance floor.

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