I am Eugene Racaza Nepangue. My main Balintawak teacher is GM Ramon Franco “Monnie” Velez the son of the late GM Teofilo Velez from 1992 until present. My first Balintawak teacher was the late GM Jose “Joe Go” Milan another student of the Great GM Vencio “Anciong Tigas” Bacon founder of Balintawak. I was also fortunate trained and learned from other great eskrimadors such as GM Bobby Taboada, GM Bobby Tabimina, GM Nene Gaabucayan, GM Nick Elizar, GM Eddie Velez, GM Yuli Romo and close friend/mentor Raul Marquez.
I am just one of the many FMA practitioners working hard and trying to get better. I started Shorin Ryu Okinawan Karate and Tat Kon Tou when I was in grade school until high school. Tat Kon Tou is a Balintawak/Kung Fu empty hand style founded by Jose “Joe Go” Milan who was also a student of the great Venancio “ Anciong Tigas” Bacon. I have seen eskrima back when I used to watch my older brothers train Balintawak when I was a kid. Then I met one of my brother’s close friend Epifanio “ Yuli” Romo another Tat Kon Tou guy, a Balintawak practitioner and one of the 5 pillars of Kali Ilustrisimo. I was very impressed with his skills and he was the reason why I love to learn eskrima. Unfortunately he was based in Manila 500 plus miles north of Cebu where I’m from. My first Balintawak teacher was Jose “Joe Go” Milan for less than a year because he died of illness. A year later I was introduce to Ramon Franco “Monie” Velez by one of his top student Oliver Mag-uyon. Since then Monie became my friend, mentor and guide of exploring the art of Balintawak eskrima. He is my main Balintawak teacher and he made me what I am now in Balintawak. His teachings help me connect all the training I got from different teachers. He encourages me to explore and be open minded. I was also fortunate to learn from his brothers Chito and Eddie Velez.
"The most dangerous strikes are those that hit or land."