Ian Gabriel D. Paulmino
Region IX

Who can ever be truly Filipino than one who has lived and promoted our own martial arts? Notwithstanding his sterling accomplishments in the field of arnis, Dr. Richardson Gialogo has shown commendable passion and love for the sports.

These qualities lifted up an arnis icon who made waves in Philippine education and sports as a curriculum writer.

He is a noteworthy man who advocated for the professionalization of this national sports.

“A champion is someone who represents his craft with all his mind, body, and soul,” he shared.

Despite conquering the international arena and bringing pride by representing Philippines in different international martial arts competitions, the unassuming Grand Master remained humble. He is well-loved by his students.

While it is true that skills take people to places, skills coupled with great attitude make one phenomenal.

“Always remain humble,” he emphatically addressed to all aspiring arnisadors during the Sports Heroes Day of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa in Davao City. He also challenged the young athletes to continue training and never quit. “Mahalin ang bayan,” he added.

Like any other stories of great people, this Ateneo professor also had his fair share of disappointments and frustrations. After all, one cannot enjoy the sweetness of victory without tasting the bitterness of failures.

Before achieving his 9th degree black belt, the country’s most decorated senior arnisador lost numerous martial arts tournaments. But what he considered the most heartbreaking was the moment he was defeated in front of his students who looked up to him and considered him the best of the best.

He never thought his blows and strikes in playing arnis had hit him hard to frustration. But as sports-minded as he is, he healed his own scars of defeat and walked his talk.

Arnis is not only about winning. An arnisador prides himself even in defeats as these make him stronger.

Such wisdom was honed in him many years ago through his grandfather who was also an arnisador and a guerilla fighter during the World War 2. His late grandfather introduced him to such sports and made him fall in love with it.

Then and there, he discovered and pursued his burning passion for arnis.