BY Venus May H. Sarmiento
POZZORUBIO – When a blacksmith from Pozzorubio town in Pangasinan joined his Creator in May 2016, his family found one blade with a strong character that was left unnamed.
|DUTERTE SWORD. A sword with a knuckle at the end of its handle, is named Duterte sword, after President Duterte. (Photo from FaceBook page of Venus May H. SarmientoMessage body|
Filomeno “Mang Boy” De Guzman has forged several blades before he died, but a particular sword made of high carbon steel with a blade length of 27 inches and a handle measuring seven inches, has an interesting and unique figure at the end of the handle-- a knuckle.
Being used to naming his father’s blade works, De Guzman’s youngest child, Joyce, was Inspired by the closed-fist brand of President Rodrigo Duterte and named the precious blade as “Duterte-sword.”
“The ‘Duterte sword’ also represents the all-out war of President Duterte against criminality and drugs,” said Joyce De Guzman, now manager of the family-owned Neneng’s Cutlery.
The young De Guzman told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) that the iron-fisted leadership of the 16th President of the Republic is greatly represented in the mirror-finished sword which she hopes to personally give to the President if he visits the province.
Mang Boy, as the late blacksmith is fondly called, and his penchant for making knives and swords started in the 1980s. While working in Clarkfield, Pampanga, he met an American who inspired him to make big swords.
He and his two other brothers worked on the design and manufacture of swords until their business grew and explored the export market.
Mang Boy also forged replica swords of the Japanese Samurai and Roman gladiators. Other swords were named as Katana, moon crescent, Conan (the Barbarian), Viking and Celtic knives.
Neneng’s Cutlery also manufactures replica of Hollywood-inspired fighting swords like those used in the movie ‘The Last Samurai’ which starred Tom Cruise and Oscar-winning picture ‘Braveheart’ which starred Mel Gibson.
The showroom in Pozzorubio town also boasts of the sword of King Arthur called ‘Excalibur’ and a huge larger-than-life medieval sword that has been part of several exhibits and trade expos in Pangasinan.
Bernardita ‘Neneng’ De Guzman, wife of the late blacksmith, said their business started with just P6,000 capital in the early 1980s. With the help of government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology, their sword business grew and their market became international.
With the ‘Duterte sword’ gaining popularity in mainstream and social media, the De Guzman’s are thankful that their business is picking up again and are confident that the sword industry is here to stay. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)