Wednesday, March 04, 2009

2009 Original Filipino Tapado Reunion Part II: Tapadistas Reassures Support for OFT By: James U. Sy Jr.

Tapadistas who are related to the Mamar and Lobrido Clans of Brgy. Taloc, Bago City reaffirmed their undying support and loyalty to Original Filipino Tapado and its Una nga Tigsubli (1st Generation Inheritor) Grandmaster Benefredo “Bebing” Mamar Lobrido during the 2009 Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc. Reniuon and General Assembly last March 1, 2009 at the Shelton Beach, Brgy. Pta. Taytay, Bacolod City.

The old timers of Original Filipino Tapado (OFT) took center stage and gave their respective messages to the more than 46 attendees of the gathering. Jenny Mamar, a cousin of GM Lobrido, remembered their late uncle, Founder/Grandmaster Romeo “Nono” C. Mamar (1938-2005), offering him to continue the legacy of his art after his passing. He, however, declined, knowing too well that such an honor would require a lot of responsibilities and expectations. Besides, GM Lobrido was the most experienced of the tapadistas next to the Founder, having been his assistant since his teen years and ultimately the Chief Instructor of his art up to the Founder’s passing. Jenny Mamar, who is a Senior Instructor in Original Filipino Tapado, ended his message with this, “Kami nga pamilya, ginatugyan namon ang pagpalakat kag pagdumala sang Original Filipino Tapado sa kay Bebing (Our family is assigning the management of Original Filipino Tapado to Bebing).”

Master Joe Pamilanco, another relative to the Mamars and Lobridos and a retired military man, expressed his continued support to the association and GM Lobrido. As a member of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) and the Philippine Army (PA), he had traveled to Luzon where he had pitted his skills in Tapado against the other extant systems there and succeeded each time. Pamilanco is one of only four individuals to be promoted to Master in Original Filipino Tapado by the Founder during his lifetime.

Another pioneer exponent of Original Filipino Tapado, Ernesto Jacinto, said that his practice of the art was put on hold because of family life but his support is still with the group. He expressed his joy to see Original Filipino Tapado still flourishing 49 years after its founding and 4 years after the passing of the Founder.

Master Nelson G. Carmona (B: 1948), a cousin to the late Founder, narrated his experiences in Original Filipino Tapado, beginning with the start of his training under GM Mamar in 1969. He went on to become one of his sparring partners and at times assistant. In the early days, when he was still employed with State Theater, Carmona facilitated for the group to be able to practice at the back part of the theater. Later, Edilberto “Bing” leong, proprietor of the Golden Country manokan, offered his place in Libertad for the group’s training venue.

Grandmaster Danilo “Danny” Cardinal of the KaliSilat Arnis Association (KAA), one of the special guests of OFTLSFA, Inc., expressed his thanks for being invited to the family affair and for being received with a warm welcome. He related that he too is a teacher of Arnis yet he still appreciates the uniqueness of Original Filipino Tapado. He revealed that GM Lobrido shared with him the basics of the art when the latter went to his home the night before as a gift from one grandmaster to another.

GM Lobrido, on the other hand, announced that he will be teaching a batch of about 20 teenagers in Brgy. Taloc this coming summer and invited old timers to review their techniques and assist in teaching.

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