Wekaf Hawaii officials in Cebu to promote Worlds

By: Glendale G. Rosal, John Carlo A. Villaruel July 28,2017 - 08:36 PM

OFFICIALS of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Wekaf) Hawaii chapter are in Cebu to promote the 15th Wekaf World Championships that will be held in the island of Maui in the Hawaiian archipelago next year.

Wekaf Hawaii chapter president Grand Master (GM) Robert Garcia, Wekaf Hawaii vice president James Reponte and executive secretary and the chairman of the organizing committee of next year’s world championships David Cordero were with Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio Cañete and officials of the Philippine Sports Commission and Cebu City Sports Commission during a press conference for the World Championships last Thursday evening at the Boosog Lasang Pinoy restaurant along Juana Osmeña Street in Cebu City.

Cordero said he expects the event to be a successful one, especially since there are a lot of followers of the Filipino sport in Hawaii.

“There’s a lot of Filipinos in Hawaii. Filipinos from Ilocos and Cebu started migrating there in 1906 as ‘sakadas’ or farmers in the plantations and they practice eskrima while cutting canes,” Cordero said.

The World Championships will be held on July 19 to 23. According to Cordero, more than 40 countries are expected to compete in the Worlds.

“We want them to experience the Hawaiian culture, Filipino culture and the eskrima culture in Maui next year. We are excited to share the unique quality of Hawaii.”

SGM Cañete is making sure the Hawaii chapter gets the needed support from the Philippines. He revealed that the country will be sending 60 stick fighters and eskrimadors to the prestigious event.

Last year, the Philippines hosted the World Championships at the J Center Mall in Mandaue City. The Philippines topped the medal standings with a haul of 67 gold medals, 65 silvers and 60 bronze medals. USA finished second (41-29-34) and Japan third (22-12-15).

Also present during the presser last Thursday were Cordero’s wife, Mary Llanos Cordero, who is the publisher of the Fil-am Courier, a local daily newspaper in Hawaii, PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez and CCSC commissioner Allan Delantar.

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