Arnis fruit


After our practice recently, Master Cris and I went to the fruit and vegetable stand owned and manned by a fellow arnisador, Johnny.  When we arrived there, Master Cris asked me, “Ma’am nakakita na ba kayo ng bunga ng arnis?” (Ma’am have you seen the fruit of arnis?)

At first I thought he was asking me a profound figurative question and although a bit puzzled, I started to think about how to answer.

Haha! I didn’t have to make the effort afterall, because Master Cris was referring to the literal rattan fruit also known as kalapi.

Yes, I’m a filipino based in the Philippines but I’ve never seen this fruit before. Maybe I just wasn’t aware but I don’t even remember seeing a rattan tree before.

That's Johnny, introducing me to the real fruits of arnis!
Johnny and I, documenting my first time to see a kalapi.

Anyway, from afar they looked like longgan or lychees. Close up, the outer layer looked like scales or snake skin. When you peel it, you’ll see shiny brownish flesh.

rattan fruit, kalapi

The taste? SOUR! Much like a very sour calamansi or tamarind. But after a few seconds, there was a sweet aftertaste and Johnny said that in October when it will really be in season, it will be sweeter.

Ok, that will be worth waiting for. For now, I’ll pass… 🙂




My hubby passed out and I’m a suspect

Hubby gave me a scare last week. I really thought he was having a stroke when in the middle of the night he suddenly fell unconscious while peeing. I rushed him to the hospital and after tests and half a day in the Intensive Care Unit, doctors declared that it was just a case of Micturation Syncope (fainting during urination caused by a stimulation of a certain nerve that caused the blood pressure and heart rate to drop). Thank God. Whew!

What’s funny was the next day,  one of his buddies asked him,

Are you sure you didn’t feel a rattan stick on your head before you passed out? Nothing personal, but we have to consider all possibilities, you know. “

LOL! How many husbands get to be asked that??

So funny. 🙂

Oh yes, Arnis is thriving in Dubai

Dubai is an 8-1/2 hour straight flight from Manila but in that distant place, there are many Filipino Martial Arts enthusiasts. Hooray!

During my month-long stay there, I was delighted to have met two FMAers.

1. Julieto (Lito) Ondangan – Style: Alas Modern Arnis (Alasteros), Philkadi Martial Arts

Hubby, (left), pretending to be a bad guy, with Brother Lito
Hubby, (left), pretending to be a bad guy, with Brother Lito

Aside from visiting my sister and her family, the other reason why hubby and I went to Dubai was because he was invited to give a Christian church seminar.

Anyway, in one of the sessions, hubby casually (and dare I say, proudly) mentioned that I was into FMA and asked if there was anyone else into it. Brother Lito, as we call him, raised his hand. Oh wow, I didn’t expect that!

As soon as the seminar ended, I beelined to Brother Lito and learned that he trained under his father in law, the late Grandmaster Alexander Asperas, founder of Alas Modern Arnis (Alasteros) and Philkadi Martial Arts in Pasig City, Philippines.

Naturally, there had to be some demonstration.  Since we didn’t have sticks, I just asked about street self defense. His answers turned out to be so interesting that soon there was a group of people watching us. Thank you Brother Lito.

I like him because he really knew what to do whatever scenario we presented to him: what if the attacker is armed, what if he grabs you from the back, what if there are two attackers, and more.  What’s impressive is, he clearly explained how to do it in his practical but quiet kind of way. Brother Lito is not active now but I hope he will find the time to practice and train others again.

2. Guro Louie Finuliar Rempillo  Style: Alfonso Kali / LSAI

Assistant Instructor, Art of Power Martial Arts Academy, Al Hana Center, Bur Dubai

Thank you for the Alfonso Kali shirt
Thank you for the Alfonso Kali shirt

Guro Louie saw the Facebook photo of me in Dubai so he contacted me and said that if I wanted to, he could introduce me to some of the Arnis practitioners in Dubai. Of course I wanted to but sad to say, my schedule didn’t permit me to.

I almost lost hope that I would meet any of them, when on our last day, Guro Louie so selflessly gave up his lunch hour to meet me and hubby at the Dubai Mall.Thank you very much!

He was so nice and he gave me a shirt, too.

Alfonso Kali shirt

Guro Louie told me that Arnis is becoming more and more popular in Dubai and even non-Filipinos are into it. At present, the Alfonso Kali group trains in the Art of Power gym in Deira Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. What’s more interesting is they give free self defense training at the Creek Park every Friday morning.

Kids, teens, and adults learn Arnis at Creek Park Dubai. Photo credit: Louie Rempillo Facebook
Kids, teens, and adults learn Arnis at Creek Park Dubai.
Photo credit: Louie Rempillo Facebook

Guro Louie also said that the Balintawak Arnis group gives Arnis training in Safa Park .

That’s great!

Thank you also to:

At present, Guro Alimario trains every Friday afternoon at the Shotokan Karate Institute, al Nadha, Dubai.

What an uplifting thought it is that Arnis is so alive in Dubai. I’m sure that in the other Emirates and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it is also. I’m not surprised because, as you know, Arnis is awesome, right? Right.

Are you aware of other FMA groups in that area? Please let us know.

More power to all FMAers.

Thank you for taking the time to read The Deadly Dance. Pugay!

Socks and other things Arnis

Photo credit:

Warm greetings from Dubai, UAE!  I’m here with hubby and mom for a much awaited month-long visit to my sister and her family.

Before I left Manila, I knew that there was little chance that I could do Arnis here and I felt bad about it.  Upon arriving here and amidst the hustle and bustle, I didn’t think of Arnis…for two days.

On the third day, I started to mope around missing my sticks. I tried to do empty hand exercises and they were nice but I missed the feel of those weapons in my hands. I missed doing the sinawalis, redondas, and strikes. I missed hearing those marvelous sounds they make when they slice through the air and strike each other. Most of all, I craved for that after-session muscle ache they always give me… Divine.


I became so cheesy that I sent this thought across the globe to my sticks:

images (2)
Quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Photo by


Then I saw my 12-year old nephew and 8-year old niece playfully hitting each other with their socks. A lightbulb suddenly lit in my brain! Of course! How could I forget? Ordinary items can be improvised weapons. In Arnis I can use ANYTHING and EVERYTHING as weapons. That’s one of the reasons why I adore Arnis!

Oh yes, yes, yes.

Thank you for that most amazing reminder. It cements my belief that Arnis is so relevant and workable.

So I borrowed the socks. They felt like short whips and getting hit with them were also painful. Arnis also has whips and it was good that I somehow got to try how they moved. Oh, the feel of having weapons, delicious! Then I also got a knife and a fork, and then keys. Weapons were everywhere!

After a while, I saw something wonderful… my nephew’s drum sticks!


THANK GOD, I have sticks!

Sure drum sticks only measure 15 inches but still, they’re sticks and they’re fantastic.

So here’s my obligatory Dubai tourist photo. The Burj al Arab with me… and my sticks.

Marhaba (Hello)

I’m happy now.

I hope everything is well with you too, my friends.



Interesting read:

The Filipino whip  Latigo / Bill Lowery/  FMA Informative Magazine, 2013 

Where, oh where, are the Arnis books?

Look at this masterpiece that greets you at Fully Booked in Bonifacio Global City.

Fully Booked Display
A floor to ceiling book art
Did you notice? They’re books. So beautiful

Like a child in a candy store, all my senses perk up when I’m in a bookstore. I just love being in the company of pages and pages of wisdom, knowledge, adventure, drama, etc, etc.

A few weeks ago, hubby and I went and he gave me the whole afternoon to scour the goods.

I went straight to the martial arts section.

Two big shelves of martial arts books! Yay!
Two big shelves of martial arts books! Yay!

Now, look for Arnis books.

No Arnis book here
No Arnis book here
None here either
None here either
Not even one here
Not even one here


Previously, I also checked several branches of National Bookstore and Powerbooks and they carried only three– GM Presas’s Modern Arnis and Practical Eskrima; and Emmanuel Querubin’s Sikaran!

Krav Maga, Aikido, and Karate books overflow in shelves but where are the ones about my beloved Arnis? In But I want them in bookstores! I want them to be as accessible as the other books!!!


I’m ready to have a tantrum!!!

Excuse me.

Nine reasons why your brand should sponsor Arnis tournaments in the Philippines

Arnis Full Contact Event
Photo Credit: Arnis Pasindo

No, I’m not  a marketing person but the more I think about it, the more I am convinced: Sponsoring Arnis tournaments here in the Philippines will be a smart and surefire investment for your brand.


You want to know why?

Read on, my friends.

1. You will be a part of something that will grow, for sure. In 2009, Arnis became the Philippines’ National Martial Art and Sport (Republic Act No. 9850). The implementing Rules and Regulations are still being finalized but  Arnis will soon be promoted and taught in communities, primary-secondary-tertiary schools, armed forces (AFP), and the police (PNP).  See for yourself how HUGE it will be HERE.

2. You will build your brand’s pro-Pinoy image. What other sport can give you this?  You will be known as supporter and promoter of the Filipino spirit, culture, and heritage.

3. You will be identified with the qualities ascribed to Arnis: patriotism, fearlessness, guts, determination, and speed.

4. Your brand will be exposed to your target consumers: high school and college students, as well as influential people like coaches, tournament organizers, and officials.

5. You will have a chance to build awareness, affinity, and loyalty to your brand at a relatively lower cost compared to other means of marketing.

6. Your promotional materials will receive maximum exposure. The tournament is held in a fixed venue i.e., the participants and spectators stay in one place the whole tournament duration. Displayed promotional materials like banners and posters are in their sight the whole time.

7. You will be seen by so many in social media. The participants belong to a group profiled as being active in Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and other social media. Think of how many will see your brand’s name and logo in the background of so many shared photos and videos.

8. You won’t have to compete with other big brands in sponsoring other already popular sports. Why go where it is already crowded? In Arnis, you’ll surely get noticed.

9. You’ll have the opportunity to do something noble for the Philippines.  Filipinos, this is our country, our heritage, our sport.  It’s time to love our own. Our non Filipino friends,  help us become a people who appreciate and practice our own. It’s high time.

Taken during the 8th Arnis Pasindo Tournament, 1 December 2013, Queon City, Philippines. Photo by STIX.
Anyo Event at the 8th Arnis Pasindo Tournament . Photo credit: STIX.

So, my friends, do you agree?

Sponsoring an Arnis tournament is a killer marketing strategy!


Related posts:

Photos: My weapons

Here are the weapons I use when I train. What’s good about Arnis is if you know how to use one, you’d know how to use the rest.


Fro left: Rattan Sticks,  Single Edged Practice Bolo, Kamagong practice knives and Dulo-dulo made from carabao horn
From left: Rattan Stick, Single Edged Practice Bolo, Kamagong practice knives and Dulo-dulo made from carabao horn

Arnis Weapons

My rattan sticks have gloss and traditional burn markings. (I think they burn the sticks to straighten them.) I also have kamagong and bahi sticks but they’re too heavy for practice. If you want to see them, click here.

My bolo was bought from Grandmaster Rodel Dagooc’s Arnis products store. I want more!

The knives are made from a hardwood called Kamagong. They’re kris knives but are slightly different from each other.

The dulo-dulo is made from Carabao horn similar to what the old Arnisadors used. (I actually just borrowed this from Master Cris. I don’t have my own yet).

Arnis Weapons

To be a woman with weapons is an awesome thing.

I’m in a good place. 🙂

Well, that’s it for now.

I hope everything is well with you, my friends.