Pencak silat team calls for support, awareness of smaller sports in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — The national pencak silat team, which bagged four bronzes in the 2018 Asian Games, called out to fellow Filipinos for support for smaller sports in the country.

The pencak silak delegation on Thursday were at the regular media briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, aiming to spread awareness of the lesser-known martial arts competition.

Cherry May Regalado, a bronze medalist in the women's single category, said budget issues hounded the team ahead of the quadrennial contest.

"Hopefully, in behalf of our team, may mga taong tumulong sa amin (there will be people who will help us)," Regalado told reporters in Malacañang.

"We are all qualified to compete for the Asian Games. But then siguro dahil sa budget issues, hindi na-approve ang iba naming kasama," she revealed.

[Translation: We are all qualified to compete for the Asian Games. But then maybe because of budget issues, some of our teammates were not approved to compete.]

With the recent success of the Philippine team, Regalado hopes they placed pencak silat on the bigger stage, and wishes their countrymen continue to pour in the much-needed support for the sport.

"Alam po namin na ang PSC, POC, I know they tried their best to help us. But since hindi lang po yung pencak (silat) yung nagcocompete sa Asian Games, marami pang sports. So it's really hard for them siguro to provide all our needs," said Regalado, who was a point away from delivering a silver medal finish for the country.

[Translation: We know the PSC and the POC tried their best to help us. But since it's not only pencak silat that's competing in the Asian Games, there are a lot of sports. So it's really hard for them to provide all our needs.]

Regalado is one of the pencak silat podium finishers in the Asiad, together with Dines Dumaan, Jefferson Loon, and Almohaidib Abad. The team delivered four of the country's 21 medals in the games.

Spokesperson Roque added that supporting these "smaller" sports can translate into more victories in international competitions.

"Kaya nga andito sila ngayon (that is why they are here), to promote awareness that we could actually succeed in sports that are more apt for our height and our backgrounds and physique," Roque said.

Pencak silat is a type of martial-arts competition which traces its roots to Indonesia.

READ: Asian Games: PH exceeds 2014 Incheon total medal tally

The Philippine team said it is preparing for the upcoming World Pencak Silat Championships in Singapore in December.