Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno
Lita dela Rosa
Asian Gold medalists
Other champion bowlers
Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno
Paeng owns the following
distinctions: "Greatest Filipino Athlete of All Time", "Athlete of the Century",
and "International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium." He has won the World Cup
in bowling four times in three decades. He could even win his fifth in fourth
He won his first World Cup in Tehran, Iran on November 19, 1976 when he was only 19 years old; his second World Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 1, 1980; his third World Cup in Le Mans, France on November 8, 1992; and his fourth World Cup in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 23, 1996.
Paeng also won two equally prestigious international titles, namely: the International Tournament championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 8, 1984 and the World Tenpin Masters championship in London, England on March 7, 1999. On October 4, 2002, Paeng won a gold medal together with RJ Bautista in bowling's double event for men at the Asian Games held in Pusan, South Korea. All in all, Paeng has won over 100 tournament titles.
He is the only bowler who had received the prestigious International Olympic Committee (IOC) President's Trophy and was the first enshrined in the International Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri in 1993. In November 1999, the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) named Paeng as the "International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium."
In a ceremony held in Dubai, United Arab Ermirates, an FIQ official cited Paeng with these words: "No international bowling athlete is more deserving of recognition than Paeng. In addition to his long list of well-known achievements as a world champion in three decades, Paeng truly has been and continues to be an extraordinary ambassador for our sport. I congratulate Paeng for receiving the highest award possible from the IOC. Being the first time an IOC recognition has been given to a bowling athlete, I can only say: On behalf of 100 million bowlers in the world, I salute Paeng Nepomuceno as the international bowling athlete of the millennium."
Paeng, who is still an active player, was born in Manila on January 30, 1957. Truly, Paeng is a world champion and we are proud to say that Paeng is a Filipino!
Like Paeng Nepomuceno, Bong Coo dubbed as "Asia's Bowling Queen" was enshrined in the World Bowling Hall of Fame in 1993. She is the most awarded female Filipino athlete in history, having won 107 national and international titles including two world titles, one World Cup and five Asiad gold medals. She set three world records in consecutive FIQ World Championships in 1979 and 1983 and one world record in 1979 World Cup.
Lita dela Rosa
Lita dela Rosa won bowling's World Cup in Bogota, Colombia in 1978.
It was a Filipino triumph just the same. Despite being excluded from the regular gold medal tally, Arianne Cerdena's Olympic gold medal, which she won at Royal Bowling Center in Seoul, South Korea on September 18, 1988 only proves that the Philippines could easily beat other countries for that elusive Olympic gold. For the record, bowling was considered only as a demonstration sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Asian Gold Medalists
Bong Coo has won five gold medals in the Asian Games from 1978 to 1986. Her teammates in five-person team events were Lita de la Rosa, Rosario de Leon, Lily Reformado, and Nellie Castillo. On October 4, 2002, Paeng Nepomuceno and RJ Bautista won the men's doubles bowling event at the 14th Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. It was the first Asiad gold for Nepomuceno. Both Paeng and RJ are left-handed.
Other Champion Bowlers
Among the other Filipino bowlers who have performed competitively in World Cup and other international tournaments include Irene Benitez, Jojo Canare, Liza Clutario, Angelo Constantino, Rosario de Leon, Liza del Rosario, Benito Dytoc, Jorge Fernandez, Cecilia Gaffud, Delfin Garcia, Irene Garcia, Chester King, Loreto Maranan, Richard Poblete, Lolita Reformado, Leonardo Rey, Linda Reyes, Rene Reyes, Engelbert Rivera, Virgilio Sablan, Rudy Salazar, Jose Santos, Catalina Solis, Christian Suarez, Manny Sugatan, Diana Tanlimco, Paulo Valdez, Bec Watanabe, and Cecilia Yap.