Cañete, father of arnis, dies at 83

Published August 23, 2021, 4:39 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – The man responsible for the rise of arnis (stickfighting) in the country has passed away.

Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio Cañete 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 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 help unite arnis organizations in the country.

Cañete was also a Sportsman of the Year awardee by 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.

Cañete was a former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu Province but became controversial when gave up being a lawyer.

Citing “unspeakable injustices,” Cañete requested the Supreme Court in 2017 to remove him from the Rolls of Attorneys and stripped him of the title and functions of being an attorney-at-law.

Cañete expressed disappointment nine of the 10 cases he filed before the prosecutor’s office from 2014 to 2016 were dismissed even if he supposedly presented strong evidence.