The Four Bs are the 4 sports Filipinos hold closest to their hearts: Basketball, Billiards, Boxing and Bowling.
Before Manny Pacquiao became a boxing legend, Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno's name was already secure in world bowling annals. Paeng began bowling at the age of 12.
The leftie bowler won his first tournament at 15 and won his 1st major tournament, the World Bowling World Cup at 19. His feat was cited by the Guiness Book of World Records for being the youngest bowler to do so.
Paeng is also the record holder for 'Winning the Most World Titles in three different decades' and 'Winning the Most World Titles in a career: a whopping 122!
Well-known in international bowling circles, Paeng is considered to be the opponent everyone wants to beat competitively, the player everyone wants to measure up to.
In 1999 nagging injuries forced Paeng to undergo wrist surgery. He made a successfull recovery and bagged his sixth world title at the World Tenpin Masters in London on March that year.
The International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in Arlington, Texas, USA has a life-size display of Paeng that greets visitors at the entrance. He was named World Bowler of the Year three times and enshrined by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in its Hall of Fame in the sport of bowling.
At the age of 52, Paeng is still far from being finished. He still competes with athletes more than half his age in the international bowling circuit, travels nationwide to give inspirational talks and conducts bowling clinics to aspiring youngsters.
Paeng Nepomuceno has a career any athlete could only dream of. Let us be proud that a Filipino holds the title of "Greatest International Bowler of All Time."
Trivia: Paeng received five Presidential awards from five different Presidents: in 1984 by President Marcos with the "Presidential Medal of Merit"; in 1989 by President Corazon Aquinowith a special citation for his array of local and international triumphs; President Fidel Ramos honored Nepomuceno in three different occasions for his two World Cup titles and for being named twice as "Athlete of the Year"; in 1999 President Estrada bestowed Paeng the "Philippines Legion of Honor", the 1st athlete to be awarded; and in 2008 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who bestowed the "Order of Lakandula with the Class of Champion for Life."
(information from www.paengbowling.com)