The Philippine Fencing Association celebrated Fencing Day last Saturday before thousands of spectators at the Glorietta Mall in Makati City.
The day-long event aimed to promote the sport of fencing in the country and was held in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Federation Internationale D’Escrime, which is the governing body of fencing in the world.
The FIE was officially inaugurated in France in 1913.
The event featured fencing exhibitions and the finals of its annual Dayrit’s Cup Fencing Championships capping a week long competition to pay tribute to the founder of PFA, Don Francisco Dayrit Sr.
The late Dayrit who passed away in 1983 was recently inducted into the FIE Hall of Fame alongside other distinguished personalities including Baron Pierre De Coubertin who was the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, and IOC Vice President Thomas Back.
Back is believed to become the next IOC president replacing Jacque Rogge this year.
Fencing in the Philippines had a long heritage dating back during the Spanish colonization. We remember our National Heroes Dr. Jose Rizal and brothers Juan and Gregorio Luna playing the sport of fencing during their times. Filipino fencers have dominated their events in the Southeast Asian Games since 1992 bringing a lot of honors for the country. Though a regular Olympic sport since 1896, fencing was unfortunately not included in the 2009 Laos SEA Games and also in this year’s Myanmar SEA Games.
Former POC President Celso Dayrit is the current president of the Fencing Confederation of Asia and a member of the powerful FIE Executive Board. Actor Richard Gomez is the newly elected deputy president and chief operating officer of the Philippine Fencing Association.