Revered Filipino martial arts (FMA) patriarch Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete passed away at 96 on Friday because of lingering illness. Born on August 8, 1919, Cañete was the last surviving founding member of the famed Doce Pares Eskrima Club, which was established in 1932.
Besides his expertise in FMA, Cañete was also skilled in other martial arts among them ju-jitsu, boxing, judo, free style wrestling, Shorin-ryu karate, and aikido. During his prime, Cañete was considered the foremost Doce Pares fighter having fought over 100 no-rules eskrima duels. Using his skill in eskrima, Cañete fought with the United States Army Forces in the Far East against Japanese invaders during World War 2.
Doce Pares is the oldest FMA organization in the Philippines and is largely instrumental in promoting Philippine fighting arts all over the world. Cañete was elected club president after his elder brother and the club’s founder Eulogio died in 1988. He held the position until the time of his passing.
Cañete’s wake at the Saint Peter Chapel in Cebu City is open to the public until February 13. A requiem mass followed by a funeral parade toward the Queen City Memorial Garden where his remain will be laid to rest is scheduled on February 14, 1 p.m.