Central Mindanao has set its sight in retaining its title amid the tough competition poised by all the regions led by last year's runner up Western Visayas and third placer Cordillera Autonomous Region.
All 17 regions are entered in the arnis competition, which has a total of 10 gold medals at stake. Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Davao Region are also tough contenders.
Ramon Lobos, tournament manager for arnis, said it is hard to say if Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao (old name: Central Mindanao) could defend the title because other regions are also preparing for this competition.
"This would be a stiff competition for all the regions, including the defending champion. They all have a chance to win," said Lobos.
Region 12 tallied a total of 52 total points to rule the arnis competition last year at its home turf of Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
The team was bannered by Brian Guino, Christian Manaay and Donald Grecia, who also topped the full contact extra-lightweight. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)