And oh! Here's a read I just found on Jose Amang Parica Jr., the Filipino pool player who initiated The Filipino Invasion. The article was written in May 2003 by my kabayan, Val. G. Abelgas. IT IS an interesting read! And I kid you not! Enjoy!
Filipino pool player Jose “Amang” Parica had to pull a stool every time it was his turn to make a shot when he first played billiards at his father’s billiard hall in Blumentritt, Manila back in the
Forty-three years and more than 100 championships later, Jose Amang Parica is still literally living in the world of billiards, still slugging it out with the best of them. Less than a week ago, Amang Parica proved once and for all that he is still one of the best players in the world, in a sport he has dominated in the
At 50, Jose Parica should have been playing in the seniors tour, if there is one, but he continues to dominate much younger players from the
A Japanese billiard player and promoter was looking for a Filipino player to compete in a tournament in
In 1976, Parica, hoping to get a better deal for Filipino billiard players, organized the Philippine Pocket Billiards Association. He became its first president. In 1978, Amang had enough sponsors to compete in his first-ever tournament in the
Jose Amang Parica competed under the Men’s Professional Billiards Association for years, but did not win a
Soon, Filipino pool players Efren Bata Reyes, Francisco Django Bustamante, Rodolfo Luat, and Leonardo Dodong Andam joined Amang Parica in lording it over the American circuit. Without realizing it, Parica had led what American billiard aficionados call the “Filipino Invasion.”
Jose Amang Parica has won close to 100 tournaments in the U.S., 13 in Japan, and three in the Philippines (all Philippine Open in 1980, 1989 and 1992). In 1988, Parica dominated the Japanese circuit, winning the championship in eight of nine tournaments he competed in, and placing second in the only tournament he did not win. The same year, he won the biggest and richest tournament ever by beating arch rival Efren Bata Reyes in the finals. The tournament, played in
He won three more tournaments in 1989, but the star of Efren Bata Reyes was beginning to shine brighter than his. As The Magician began to shine, Amang Parica began to fade. In 1994, Parica married
Jose Amang Parica was content with playing billiards privately and wading in the pool of his 5-bedroom house in
Jose Amang Parica showed his fighting heart by coming back in 1997 to beat Efren Bata Reyes six in a row, and Johnny Archer seven times. He won five tournaments that year and emerged No. 1 in world ratings. Amang Parica proved he was still among the best in the world by being chosen Player of the Year in 1997 by three award-giving bodies — the Billiards Magazine, Billiards Digest, and the Camel Pro-Billiards Series, the richest and most prestigious circuit in the U.S.
Jose Parica and Efren Reyes faded again in 1998, as the rising Francisco Django Bustamante dominated the circuit, by winning three of the Camel Circuit’s eight legs, and placing second in two. Django Bustamante won the Player of the Year honors that year.
After three tournaments in the Camel Circuit, Parica is running ninth with 130 points, while Bustamante is sixth with 170 points. Efren Bata Reyes, who missed one tournament when he represented the
With his convincing victory in the Compton event, where six of the seven Filipinos who competed finished in the money list, Jose Parica is one of the players to watch in the next leg at Nashville, Tennessee starting Sept. 14, and later at the prestigious U.S. Open in Houston, Texas on Sept. 25-26.
After 43 years of playing billiards and more than 100 titles tucked under his belt, Jose Amang Parica doesn’t even look close to retiring soon. You can look deep into his eyes, and you’ll probably see the 8 and 9 balls inside.
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