DO you want to channel District 12’s Katniss Everdeen, make believe you’re Legolas from Lord of the Rings, or pretend you're the Avenger’s marksman, Hawkeye?
A recent string of Hollywood movies has helped resurrect a passion for archery. Films such as The Hunger Games, Brave and The Avengers have captured the public's imagination and have made drawing bows and hitting targets with pinpoint accuracy so darn cool.
I recently discovered you can tap your inner archer after SPIN.ph was invited to a blogger's event at the Gandiva Café and Archery Range in Ortigas Center, where apart from partaking of tasty selection of vegetarian dishes, guests were given basic archery tutorials and the opportunity to compete for prizes a la Robin Hood in an indoor and air conditioned setting.
One thing I noticed is the safety protocol the instructors constantly remind aspiring archers. Even though the arrows used are a far cry from the lethal ones used in warfare and hunting, they can still cause a lot of pain. Prior to stepping on the range, a brace is also strapped on the arm to protect against burns from the sting of the bowstring’s release.
It’s really quite simple: nock the arrow to the string; prepare for the shot by adopting the right stance; draw until the string touches your cheek; take aim at the target; release; and follow through. Repeat.
You don’t have to come from a school in Taft Avenue to actually appreciate archery. And it’s quite addicting actually.
Some celebrities who have been seen in the Gandiva ranges are Sarah Geronimo, Matteo Guidicelli, Liza Soberano, Richard Gomez, John James Uy, Slater Young, Rafael Rosell, and many others. Celebrity ambassador Bangs Garcia is currently enrolled in Gandiva’s basic and advance modules.
Named after a mythical bow in the ancient epic poem Mahabharata, Gandiva caters to people from eight years old and up. Newbies are welcome to try their hand with the bow. Gandiva is currently offering a weekday promo of P680/hour (from the original P980/hour) as part of their walk-in archery package. For those interested in basic lessons, a discounted P8,888 package is being offered until October 11. The regular rate is P12,000.
In 2009, Gandiva opened its first branch in SM Mall of Asia with the aim bringing the sport closer to the masses. Some of their basic offerings are the one-hour archery package, range and equipment rentals, training in recurve and compound archery, an armory (archery equipment repairs and servicing) and offset archery range setup and facilitation.
As a training facility, Gandiva also plays its part to further bring pride to the country as it makes more Filipino athletes competitive and equips them to be at par with archers in international competition.
Over the past few years, Gandiva has hosted events such as the 3rd Asian Grand Prix, South East Asian Championships and sponsored major sporting events such as the Palarong Pambansa. But their collaborations also extended to the field of manufacturing archery equipment when they partnered with the Korean company, Samick.
Apart from its archery range, Gandiva also has a café that offers a satisfying array of vegan fare that includes a healthy selection of pasta, sandwiches and assorted snacks.
Gandiva is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. They are located at Unit 704 One Corporate Center, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
With its steady rise and growing clientele, Gandiva hopes to hit a bullseye for archery not only as a sport but as a lifestyle activity that combines fitness, focus and fun.