By CALVIN CORDOVA
CEBU CITY — Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio Cañete, the man responsible for the global rise of arnis (stickfighting), has passed away. He was 83.
His death was announced through the Facebook page of Doce Pares HQ on Sunday night.
According to Doce Pares’ website, Cañete belonged to the second generation of renowned martial art advocates – the Cañete brothers.
He was the youngest son of Grand Master Eulogio Cañete, the principal organizer of Doce Pares, who headed the organization since its founding in 1932 until his death in June 1988.
Cañete was elected as charter president of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) in 1989 and spearheaded the WEKAF Championships held in Cebu City.
Cañete went on to become the chairman-emeritus of WEKAF and helped unite arnis organizations in the country.
Cañete was a one-time Sportsman of the Year awardee of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC).
Cañete’s son Gerald is the executive vice president Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF). The father-and-son tandem helped the country come up with a rousing showing in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games that saw the country bag 14 gold medals, four silvers and two bronzes.