SEA Games: ‘Bayanihan’ spirit alive, as donors help Pinoy arnis athletes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2019 05:26 PM | Updated as of Nov 30 2019 11:19 PM

National arnis athletes train in August. On Saturday, national arnis federation chief Juan Miguel Zubiri lauded those who donated food and water to the national arnis team in Pampanga. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA—Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Saturday lauded Filipinos who donated food and water in support of national athletes in Pampanga participating in the Southeast Asian Games.

Private groups and individuals in Angeles city, where arnis matches, will be held, have been working together to address some issues, said Zubiri, a former arnis player who now chairs the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF), the sport's national governing body.

" 'Yung mga konting problema, for example, konting problema sa logistics, pagkain, maiinom ng ating mga atleta na di pa nade-deliver ay kusang loob na mismo 'yung mga taga-Angeles ay nagdo-donate," he said in an interview on DWIZ.

"[Ang] mga mayor nagpapadala ng support, assistance. Ang ganda tingnan [ng] bayanihan spirit. So in a way, I'm sure maganda ang kalalabasan nito."

Foreign embassies have also mobilized to transport their arnis players to the venue in Pampanga, the senator said.

"Trabaho rin naman nila 'yun. Trabaho nila na sunduin ang head of delegation nila . . . So far wala naman nagko-complain," Zubiri said.

"Para di magkaroonng problema sa pagsundo, sa sasakyan, logistics, ginawa namin kami na mismo, sariling sikap na na asikasuhin 'yung ating counterparts.

"Tama 'yun sinasabi na let us be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem."

The Philippines is eyeing to snag some 20 gold medals from arnis, the country's national sport.

Other Southeast Asian countries competing in arnis are Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

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