Traveling merchants in the Philippines used to carry their merchandise on a pole slung over the shoulder, with a basket on either end (“pingga”). This pole could be used to fight off dogs or bandits. Sometimes these vendors would engage in challenge matches, wagering their merchandise.
What is interesting, though, is that GM Estalilla’s father used a stick about 46 inches in length, reaching from the floor to the “didi” (nipple). This was the same length as the pingga, and the elder Estalilla won his share of merchandise, such as clothes, in challenge matches with pingga-wielding vendors.
Instructor Ralph Grasso, who studied with Guro Amante Marinas, learned a system of combat featuring the use of the pingga as a weapon. If you think about it, the pingga makes sense on multiple levels (at least in the Philippines):
It is a readily available weapon.
It has the advantage of reach, which allows the wielder to fight at a safer distance, whether against dogs or bandits.
Its use is simpler –studying a short stick stick soon leads one into the tall grass, with ever more complicated techniques.
P.S. Instructor Grasso contacted me and wanted to make it clear that he is not certified to teach under Marinas.