Who would have thought that these ordinary school children enrolled at Madalagan Elementary School in Bacolod City are now part of the country’ biggest television talent search “Pilipinas Got Talent Season 5” int ABS-CBN? Their athletic prowess in arnis paved their way to the limelight.
The laudable group, MATTI (Modern ArnisTapiTapi International) is composed of four members – three boys and one girl – who are all enrolled in one same school. They are Jean Elijah T. Beronio, Fraian Mark C. Cortez, Justin Kyle M. Meliza and Daniela C. Lasconia. Prior to arnis, two of the members are already into sports. Fraian used to play Taekwondo and Justin was into SepakTakraw. But it seemed that both were not destined to shine in their previous sports.
Destiny found its way which led to the discovery of the four athletes. In one of their P.E. sessions, their MAPEH teacher, Mrs.Shiela M. Duran, discovered that the four showed an extraordinary skill for handling the stick for arnis. She strongly believes that these children possessed high determination, perseverance and right attitude towards the game. Mrs. Duran decided to train these kids and equip them with the right dose of knowledge and skills in arnis in order for them to be ready in their district meet. After a series of practices and trainings, the group was able to smash victory not only in the district level competition but even in the division and provincial levels, therefore, they were able to represent in Negros Island Region Athletic Association (NIRAA) which was held last February in Bacolod City. Luckily, their team was able to covet the gold in the said regional sporting competition. They are now gearing-up since in the few days’ time, they will represent NIRAA in the PalarongPambansa here in Albay.