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Star bloggers' last word on arnis

The sports pages were filled with many of Manny Pacquiao’s hallucinations last week, even as a pained martial arts community grieved the needless death of Roland Dantes. The silence regarding his loss was deafening, as the demise of a double Hall of Famer, world-class body-builder, martial artist, international actor and patriot did not even merit mention in other sports pages.

Fortunately, The STAR’s readers know better. A salvo of outraged and questioning comments came from the members of’s Wanbol Uni who had to have their say, not just about his death, but about the staggering indifference to it and to arnis as a sport.

Blogger noypibone, who has been conscientiously posting not just comments but rare research material on the history of kali, escrima and arnis, had this reaction to our ode to Grandmaster Dantes last Monday.

“It is utterly preposterous that Mr. Dantes’ death has not received the media attention it greatly deserves. Maybe it is too much to ask of our myopic, talangka politicians and news editors, but scant coverage in the sports media? Nakakahiya (Embarrassing).”

He went on to qualify that, although Manny Pacquiao brings great pride and honor to the country as a pugilist, he has not taken up a cause that directly impacts our countrymen, and declares that Roland will eventually receive the honor he deserves.

Leader of the troop vicONGASis meanwhile rued the fact that this writer’s first piece on Roland Dantes’ untimely death came on a Saturday, five full days later. My apologies, but despite my efforts to inform other sports media about his death, nobody picked up the story, not even after I mentioned it on Hardball the day after and wrote about it in The Philippine STAR.

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vicOngasis also takes government to task for its ignorance on the matter, continues thus:

“I have nothing against the late great Francis M. He deserves the posthumous award. He has done so much for filipinizing Rap...but it seems Malacañang is hesitant to give accolades on artists of yesteryear...they have a bandwagon mentality.”

alahoy_tagoy2y meanwhile, chose to comment on dantes as a person.

“Roland Dantes is a true sportsman not a businessman, not selfish, and keeps his word about what should rightly be done for the progress of our own sport,” he said in the vernacular. “He died with dignity and an intact integrity, he is truly a national treasure to think about. It’s not too late to support his program.”

That is true. Officials of the Philippine Council of Kali, Escrima and Arnis masters (PCKEAM) which Roland helped found are going to do whatever it takes to reunite the community and bring arnis back to the fore in Philippine sports. Watch this column for announcements in the next few weeks.

taga_pitong_gatang added his two cents’ worth.

“Roland Dantes is a big loss to the rich culture of Philippine Martial Arts. Hopefully those concerned will notice and value Pinoy culture, which is slowly vanishing the way Mr. Dantes valued it. There aren’t enough programs to raise the level, especially among the young Filipinos.”

Hopefully, when the Senate session resumes, Sen. Migs Zubiri will be able to convince his colleagues in the Upper Chamber to pass his resolution making arnis the official Filipino sport.

In this regard, noypibone makes this comment on the future of the sport.

“If we are to institute arnis as a national sport and use it in nation-building, it must be founded and held with the highest regard, majesty and honor. Let us not declare it as a national sport, just for the sake of it.

“We at Wanbol U hope to posit, through this blog, ideas and practices that will contribute to the development and propagation of arnis.”

Wherever he is, Roland must be smiling.

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