Eighteen-year-old Mary Francine Padios is finally adjusting to the new rules that have been introduced in the sport of Pencak silat.
After giving the Philippines its first gold medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, joining more competitions has allowed her to be more proficient in the women’s seni (artistic or form) tunggal single.
“At first, I was having a hard time adjusting to the new rules in Southeast Asia. When I competed in the world meet, I have finally adjusted now that I’m familiar with the athletes and the format,” said Padios before she plunged into action on the first day of the 8th edition of the Women’s Martial Arts Festival at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
Padios seeks to refine her movements in Pencak silat’s women’s seni (artistic or form) tunggal single, where she will have a three-minute session to showcase her form with her hands, the stick, and the knife.
New rules dictate that opposing athletes are paired off to perform together. The athlete with the highest score, and will advance to the next round of the draw.
Before this format, performers will do their routines individually, with podium finishers determined by the three highest scorers.
So far, Padios has added a bronze medal when she joined the World Championships in Malaysia last July.
Philsilat Sports Association president Princess Jacel Kiram said they are looking to add new talents to the national pool in the coming months, and they prepare to join more international meets in the coming months.
“The 8th Women’s Martial Arts Games is our last event for the year. Next year, there will be a lot of events to join,” said Kiram.
Kiram said they are excited with the pool of athletes that they have at the moment, and after winning 11 medals at the 6th Asian Pencak Silat Championships in India.
Leading the team are brothers Alfau Jan and Almohaidib Abad, who won the gold medal in the men’s double artistic (Seni Ganda Putra) category.
Alfau Jan got another medal, a bronze, in the solo artistic (Seni Bebas Putra) category.
TOP WOMEN ATHLETES
Aside from Padios, among the top national athletes to look out for in the six-day sportsfest are World Taekwondo and Southeast Asian Games champion Jocel Ninobla, 2021 IFMA World Muaythai Championships double gold medalist Islay Erika Bomogao, and 19th World Pencak Silat silver medalist Hannah Mae Ibutnande.
More than 600 women athletes, coaches, and officials attended the opening rites of the 8th Women’s Martial Arts (WMA) Festival held at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC).
The historic RMC was all lit up and alive on what is the first big multi-sport event hosted by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in the said facility after the onset of the pandemic., PSC Chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala and Commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo, were present to witness the participants march and take their oath of sportsmanship during the said ceremony.
PSC Chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala said that “today is a significant moment in the PSC calendar, because today not only marks the 8th Women’s Martial Arts Festival, it also marks a time when we finally see face-to-face athletic competition especially, in combat sports. It is also a day when we reopen our home in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) for our athletes to compete once again, in our facilities. And most of all, it is significant because today is where women in sports take center stage.”
Women-in-Sports Oversight commissioner Bong Coo said that the martial arts festival is held, with the goal of helping our national sports association and national athletes prepare for the 6th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (AIMAG), to be held in Bangkok, Thailand. The AIMAG opens exactly 365 days after the PSC WMA Festival closes on November 17.
The Rizal Memorial Coliseum will stage the competitions of pencak silat, taekwondo, sambo and wrestling. The PSC Multi-purpose Gym, formerly known as Ninoy Aquino Stadium, will be the playing venue for muay thai, kickboxing, karate and arnis (demo), and kurash, jiu jitsu and judo (demo) tournaments will be at the Judo Training Center.
Games will be streamed live on the PSC’s YouTube channel and the PSC WMA Festival FB page
The event is sponsored by Pocari Sweat Otsuka Solar Philippines Inc.