Palaro ARMM athletes learn real life values from arnis

Joji G. Ordona

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Palaro ARMM athletes learn real life values from arnis
Respect, self-esteem, and friendship are the values learned by 3 girls at Palaro 2016 from the sport of arnis

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Respect. Self-esteem. Friendship.

These are what the 3 girls from Lamitan National High School of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) gained from playing arnis, a self-defense sport they have been participating in at the Palarong Pambansa for two years now.

Norina Malaguit, 14 and an incoming Grade 9 student, plays solo and espada y daga. She was into volleyball before she was drawn to arnis.

Aira Lhyne Suraman, 16, an incoming Grade 11 student, engages in solo and doble baston. Badminton was her first love.

Lyka Macario, 16 and an incoming Grade 10 student this school year, competes in synchronized anyo together with the two other girls.

Malaguit and Suraman participated in last year’s Palaro at Tagum City while Macario joined two years ago at Laguna. They did not make the finals then and as well as in this year’s competition, but they remain inspired to play arnis. 

The sport has taught them discipline in doing things. They also learned to respect not only their own coach, Mrs. Concepcion Bacar, but other coaches as well.

Nagkaroon din po kami ng self-confidence dahil dito,” Suraman shared. (We gained self-confidence because of this.)

Asked if boys are afraid of them, “Hindi naman po. Sila ay proud sa amin kasi kahit mga babae kami ay magagaling at marunong mag-arnis,” quipped Malaguit. (Not really. They’re proud of us even if we’re girls and we know how to do arnis.)

ANYO. ARMM secondary girls arnis do the salute before their synchronized anyo practice. Photo by Joji G. Ordona


One of their memorable experiences in playing arnis is the friendship they have formed. The trio have been practicing daily after class and they already know each other inside and out.

Their long journey by land from Basilan to Maguindanao, then to Iligan City up to Manila by boat for two days, and then a bus ride to Bicol did not bother them as long as they were together, enjoying each other’s company.

Grabe, super tagal talaga ng biyahe namin. Pero nang makita na namin ang Mayon, tanggal agad ang pagod namin,” Macario commented. (Our journey was long. But when we saw Mayon Volcano, our fatigue faded away.)

The 3 girls are grateful to be part of the arnis team because they became conscious of their health. Jogging and stretching have become normal activities as well as other endurance exercises that they do.

They are also pleased their supportive parents allowed them to participate in the sport and let them travel to different places.

They are pleased that their coach has stayed patient through thick and thin. They will always remember her advice to remain humble no matter what. –

More 2016 Palarong Pambansa stories:



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