Abandon ship: Leaving arnis – On priorities, spiritual foundations, and family

Abandon ship: Leaving Arnis


On changing priorities, building on spiritual foundations, a question on what i build my life on, and the importance of family.


Quitting arnis…but it doesn’t mean i’ll stop watching events or research on its history in my free time 😀 – it’s a poignant memory, like that of a childhood home constantly deluged by the flood of circumstances. However hard you try to come back to it, the currents pull you away. It’s like that for me for the past six years, a constant tug of war between time, money and accessibility/distance. They say, a friend’s home isn’t ever far away…the question is, for how long? Now that I’m 25, priorities change and people must change or they’ll be extinct like the dinosaurs, I…I’ll come back soon, I hope. – Leaving arnis is like leaving a family. It’s not easy. Somewhere in Shakespeare, I read “Now i must look at the eye of the tempest.” Well, come what may.


Now that i’m 25 i’m living on burrowed time, i have five years to strike a stable career or management position. So, yes, I’m not asking for a solution, I know what i said, napagisipan ko ito (I have already thought of it well enough – the pros and cons), it’s not very easy to make this decision. this time just lend me an ear, but that’s it, i know what i’m doing, so trust me on this. brothers. (To my brothers in arms Virgil Aldrin OrtegaPatrick GamayoPatrick Lubaton thank you for understanding. Kita pa rin sa mga events)


it is also a public declaration that i will stop. I know what i am talking about.it’s a factor that TIME MANAGEMENT ALONE CANNOT ANSWER. There’s the distance of 14 kilometers from my home to the National park where I train. Since it’s Sunday, I also have to go to church, that is 6 kilometers from home, add that with 14 kilometers, that’s 20 KM. And a family dinner to go afterwards. Think about what i’ve been doing for three years. There really is a lot going on.

Maybe, this is just something I want to prove a point to those of my friends, out of their good will of course, to help. Well, it isn’t just time management. especially since you also want to take that one day off from your work week to train, have time for your family, and nurture your spiritual path. Yeah, maybe some people frown on this last part. Well, this was never an easy decision to begin with. It was never easy not to have anything to rely on when you’ve failed at work or in a sense been demotivated.


i bet no one hired the same architect who designed it – build on stronger foundations

Somewhat, even if martial arts had been my identity, i reaserch about it, i watch videos on it on top of an entry level career path i’m on, somehow even if there is progress, it doesn’t make much sense. Somehow, it all crumbles down to rubble. Says in Ecclesiastes in the bible by Solomon, that everything is meaningless from someone who had just had the rest of the world’s riches, had wisdom and just some 700 wives and 300 concubines. Somewhere along those verses, he said that what is truly important is to have faith in God, paraphrased, good relatiosn with people? Is that it. Well, since I just 25 this year, a lot has changed. I suddenly ask questions that concern family life that I want to build upon. Waht would my son think if i reacted towards a problem? What would my wife think if I was still addicted in some things…that in a sense might hamper or affect My children, or would it cause years of grief with my wife? What would I do if my son would ask or tell me that he wanted to be a doctor or some other high tuitioned college program? Would I be able to give him strength? encouragement? hope? drive to success? or would i instead wallow in regret? failed opportunities? what i could have beens?


Somehow, now, i truly felt, not understood, felt Robert Frost’s poem on “diverging paths”. Truth is, once I have a family, it’s my family that I rely on and they in me. What would float my boat? Well, some choose what works for them, i choose mine. Somehow, to make a sturdy boat, i need quality nails, to keep the wood from falling apart. Now, i’m just raft, soon I’ll be carrying weight more than my own. So i’ll need a bigger ship for a bigger current and stronger waves. I can’t just move along the waves like I usually do, I have to have a rudder and a sail. I have to have somewhere to go to, if not how would my family go anywhere? Well, i have to start with knowing my faith, facing my doubts and other people’s. I know many people have given up with the idea of God in their lives, but I just can’t remove the concept of having a God who would serve you, who would wash your feet, who would carry you since you cannot carry yourself.


under the context of having disciples talk about who was the greatest, jesus displayed how leaders should be, serving not ordering. – washing feet was the dirtiest jobs in thoses times that even the jewish slaves would not do, only those who considered gentiles were to do it. – it was a custom for the host to have his guests’ feet washed as a sign of hospitality.

I want to have what my mother had during that short quake in Pizza hut, when i noticed how the water moved in the glass and how i felt dizzy, when she stood up, held our hands and prayed in thankfulness and protection. There were many instances that my family members changed. How I could feel that inner joy. I wanted to have that. When things don’t seem to go your way, how will you get up weaker but stronger.


How would I give my family hope when there is none? purpose when everything feels so meaningless? i never got those questions when i turned 24 last year, only just this year, January 2013 weird concerns bugged me. I need to dig deeper, why do I follow my faith? How can I grow in my faith in Christ?


You train in Arnis, but since time and work and distance pulls you away from it, what happens to whatever it is that you’ve been investing on? You learn but somehow you also forget. You can’t seem to get enough of just one or two trainings a month. And, somehow, you feel that the time you spent in training seems to push you away from your family. I seem to have lost several months of bonding time. I’m not sure how some people treat family here. Maybe some of them would only shrug and say, they’ll always be there or they’ll always be here even if you grow old. Well, that’s the thing, i can’t just treat them like wallpaper. Family time is important to my family. We have dinner every saturday night, together since both my parents are busy throughout the week, my siblings are busy with school, organizations, i with work and martial arts. I have to have a good relationship with my dad, with my mom, with my sister or brother. Now that we’re in our 20’s I had once thought that we already were close enough, but we weren’t. Many instances and problems came and we had to hold on to each other, to reach out for each other, to keep our hopes up for a falling sibling, how do we reach out with someone, how do we build time to understand, to show love, to show patience and sacrifice? To encourage. I don’t get that outside, we rarely talk about it with my friends. Although they know what i’m facing, at the end of the day, it’s still my parents who would pay for my hospital bills or rent or extra money when i go broke. When I get my own family, I don;t think I would have as much time with my parents as I had before. Although, He, my father, does want to have one family dinner every week. The chinese respect their parents, that’s a good trait, my father learned from henry sy, owner of the biggest chain malls in the Philippines, the richest taipan in our native shores, how they each spend family time once a week, his sons and daughter with their family. Family is important, family is tight. It should be. It’s where we stay when we don;t know where to go. at least to me. Honor your father and mother.

People stand in what they believe in, it maybe spirituality or their own selves. Their successes or connections, I have to stand with what i want to believe in. I have to be grounded at it.  I’m not saying i’m perfect, i’m imperfect, we all are. And that’s why I need a God, a personal God.

Ending my post, this is setting my priorities straight. That there will always be bigger and more important things than arnis, or even karate, which I now focus my training efforts on. This is an important part of my identity, it is where most of my friends are, it’s either from people who do martial arts or who’s into literature or into the spiritual path I now am in. For anyone to rely on me, i first have to stand up for something, or else I’ll fall for anything.

I put down my sword, and rise up with the sword of the spirit for today I’ll battle not with flesh and blood but against the powers and authorities of these broken world.



3 thoughts on “Abandon ship: Leaving arnis – On priorities, spiritual foundations, and family

  1. Reblogged this on 21 days of 5 minute karate and commented:

    I posted it here in 21 days of 5 minutes Karate since thsi blog mainly focuses on the photographs i took for our informal karate class in our village, also this blog mainly focuses on karate, which I had originally planned. Anyway, my second post would consist of my extrinsic and intrinsic motivations in pursuing karate over arnis. ~ It was more of a pros and cons versus karate and arnis. Karate trumps over arnis in terms of travel distance, travel time, time from work and finances. I’m still thinking of getting back to arnis, but not today or in a few years. Maybe when i’m more financially stable.

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