Paeng Nepomuceno

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Paeng Nepomuceno
Paeng Nepomuceno (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full nameRafael Villareal Nepomuceno
Born (1957-01-30) January 30, 1957 (age 62)
Quezon City, Philippines
Alma materAdamson University
Years active1970-present
Spouse(s)Saira R. Puyat
Country Philippines
Coached byAngel Nepomuceno[1]
Now coachingKrizziah Tabora
Achievements and titles
World finals

Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno (born January 30, 1957 in Quezon City) is a Filipino bowler and coach.

He has won the World Cup of Bowling four times (1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996).[4] Nepomuceno has also won the World's Invitational Tournament in 1984 and the World Tenpin Masters championship in 1999.

Early life and education[edit]

Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno was born on January 30, 1957 in Quezon City, Philippines to Angel Nepomuceno and Teresa Villareal. Paeng Nepomuceno's father, Angel, is a bowling coach while his mother is a former Miss Philippines (1952),[5] he attended La Salle Green Hills for his elementary and high school studies.[6]


Competitive career[edit]

Paeng Nepomuceno was initially into golf at age 10 but later switched to bowling, he got involved in bowling after he and his father sought shelter at the Mile High Bowling Center in Baguio due to rain. He then asked his father to enroll him in a junior league held at Coronado Lanes in Metro Manila.[1]

His first tournament was the Philippine Junior Masters Championship, which he won at age 15, he also won the Philippine International Masters at age 17, becoming the youngest winner of the tournament.[5]

He competed at the Bowling World Cup, becoming the men's champion in four editions (1976, 1980, 1992, and 1996), he was 19 years old when he won the 1976 edition. For this feat he was recognized by Guinness World Records as the youngest bowling champion,[7] he has three Guinness World Records, which are all unbroken.

Nepomuceno also competed at the Southeast Asian Games, he led a bowling squad that won 9 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze medals for the Philippines at the 1981 edition which was hosted in Manila. He himself can be credited for 3 out of the 7 bowling gold medals won at the 1987 games in Jakarta and 1 out of 4 gold medals won at the 1991 games in Manila,[8] he has won a total of 30 gold medals in the South East Asian games.[citation needed]

He also won the 1984 World Invitational Tournament, a competition held in conjunction with the Summer Olympics held in the same year.[5] Nepomuceno also has represented the Philippines in the World Games winning the two bronze medals in total; in the 1993 and 1997 editions both in the men's single event,[9] he also won the World Tenpin Masters in 1999.[5] That year he suffered a left-hand injury, which required surgery which temporarily sidelined him from bowling.[10]

Nepomuceno was given the Sportsman Award at the 2009 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, he is the first Filipino to receive the award.[11]

In 2011, he became the oldest winner of the Philippine International Masters, at age 54.[5] By 2013, he had won at least 124 career titles, six of which are world titles,[7] his latest title, his 131st, was won at the 2016 PSB Open Bowling Championships Senior Masters in September 2016.[12]

Coaching career[edit]

Nepomuceno joined United States Bowling Congress in 2007 as an International Ambassador to help promote the sport of bowling. In the same year he began aiming to become a USBC certified coach and started training to become a USBC Coaching Level I and Bronze Instructor,[13] he hosted seminars discussing coaching and the sport itself. He underwent training the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas to attain a USBC gold level coaching certification, which he earned by 2013,[14] he received the certification at the World Coaching conference at the USBC headquarters the following year.[15] He is the first and only Asian to attain the certification.[14]

The Philippine Bowling Federation announced on March 21, 2016 that Nepomuceno had been tasked to mentor the country's national bowlers as their head coach.[16] Under his watch, Krizziah Tabora became the women's champion of the 2017 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.[17]


By world sporting bodies[edit]

The International Olympic Committee awarded Nepomuceno its highest sports award, the IOC President's Trophy, in November 1999, in an elaborate ceremony in Abu Dhabi. In the same year the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) named him as the "Athlete of the Millennium".[18]

He was the first international male bowler to be inducted into the International Bowling Hall of Fame, in 1993. A statue of him is displayed in front of the entrance of the International Bowling Museum in Arlington, Texas, where the hall of fame is hosted.[19]

From the government[edit]

Nepomuceno's induction to the Philippine Sports Commission Hall of Fame.

Nepomuceno has received recognition from the Philippine Presidents for his feats in bowling. Five Philippine presidents have conferred on him orders and medals, including the Presidential Medal of Merit by Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine Legion of Honor by Joseph Estrada, and the Order of Lakandula with Class of Champion for Life by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,[11] he is the first Filipino athlete to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit (1984) and the Philippine Legion of Honor (1999).[6] The other presidents that have honored Paeng are President Corazon C. Aquino and President Fidel V. Ramos.

Both the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives have declared Paeng the "Greatest Philippine Athlete of All Time", he was also named Philippine Athlete of the Century by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in 1999.

From sportswriters[edit]

The Philippine Sportswriters Association recognized Nepomuceno as the Athlete of the Year five times (in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1992, and 1996); the association inducted him to their Hall of Fame in 1997, and in 1999 named him among the "Athletes of the Millennium".[20]

The World Bowling Writers awarded him the Mort Luby Jr. Distinguished Service Award, named him World Bowler of the Year three times (1984, 1985, and 1992), and named him to the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame in 1993 as its first inductee.[21]


Nepomuceno and his three Guinness World Records certifications

The Philippine Jaycees gave Nepomuceno a Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award in 1978,[22] he was inducted into the De La Salle Alumni Association Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and was also awarded with the Distinguished Lasallian Award in 2009.[6] He has been part of Adamson University's Hall of Fame since 2012.[23]

He has three records listed at the Guinness World Records; the record recognizes him as the "youngest tenpin bowling champion" by winning the 1976 Bowling World Cup (BWC) in Tehran, for winning "world titles in three decades" (1976, 1980, 1992, and 1996 BWC titles), and for winning the most career titles in bowling (124 titles as of the 2013 edition of Guinness).[7]

Personal life[edit]

Paeng Nepomuceno has been married to Saira Puyat since he was 25, they have a son and two daughters.

Nepomuceno is an enthusiast in local basketball and also participates in runs and lifts weights as cross-training to improve his performance in bowling.[10]

Currently he is a professor and a senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Ortiga, Kara (3 February 2017). "Paeng Nepomuceno". Equire. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "SEA Games Philippine Medallists [sic] since 1991 : 16th SEA Games - Manila 1991" (PDF). Philippine Olympic Committee. September 2004. p. 35. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "SEA Games Philippine Medallists [sic] since 1991 : 17th SEA Games - Singapore 1993" (PDF). Philippine Olympic Committee. September 2004. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Bowling World Cup Winners".
  5. ^ a b c d e Grasso, John; Hartman, Eric (7 August 2014). Historical Dictionary of Bowling - Nepomuceno, Rafael "Paeng". Rowman & Littlefield. p. 219. ISBN 0810880229. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Nepomuceno, Rafael "Paeng" V." De La Salle Alumni Association. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Guinness honors Paeng for 3rd time". The Philippine Star. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ Henson, Joaquin (14 August 2017). "Paeng hopes for 'Golden Age' in SEA Games". Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Results of the World Games - Rafael Nepomuceno". The World Games. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b Orellana, Joel (8 October 2015). "Rafael 'Paeng' Nepomuceno: On top of the bowling world". Business Mirror. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Nepomuceno wins World Cup Sportsman Award". GMA News. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Bowling Titles". Paeng Nepomuceno. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  13. ^ "International bowling legend 'Paeng' joins forces with USBC as certified coach, ambassador By Patrick Brettingen". USBC Coaching. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Paeng first Pinoy to receive USBC gold coach certificate". The Philippine Star. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Paeng is certified gold-level coach". Manila Standard. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  16. ^ Cordero, Abac (22 March 2016). "Paeng named coach of Philippine bowling team". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  17. ^ Henson, Joaquin (30 December 2017). "Filipino bowling back on track". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  18. ^ "A 3rd Guinness record for RP bowler Paeng". GMA News. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  19. ^ Terrado, Reuben (28 May 2014). "Bowling great Paeng Nepomuceno sadly admits sports is the least priority in the Philippines". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Winners Circle". Philippine Sportswriters Association. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  21. ^ Beltran, Nelson (28 July 2011). "Paeng planet's greatest bowler". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  22. ^ Caluag, Randy (25 December 2013). "TOYM awardee Chris Tiu is more than just a basketball player". Manila Standard. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Paeng, Calma, Codiñera head AdU honor roll". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2018.