Friday, July 9, 2010
A Memorial to Patricio P. Prologo Sensei, Bacolod Judo & Aikido Pioneer by: his student, James U. Sy Jr.
Patricio "Pat" P. Prologo Sensei (center, standing) together with pioneer members of his Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) during the Induction of Officers of the YMCA Judo and Sports Club (YJSC) in February 1996 at YMCA-Negros Occidental Chapter, Burgos St., Bacolod City. Naomi, Prologo Sensei's youngest daughter, is at the center, kneeling (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
The Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) demonstration during the event formally began with seiza no rei (seated bowing) (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
James U. Sy Jr. (fronting the camera) attack with yokomen uchi (side of the head strike) as Filomeno Fernandez defends with shiho nage (four corner throw) as Prologo Sensei looked on (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Patricio "Pat" P. Prologo Sensei (6th from left, kneeling) with members of his Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) pose with Roalndo "Bong" Achas Sensei, 2nd Dan Aikikai, (6th from left, kneeling) who conducted the Introduction to Nishio Ryu Aikido I seminar at the invitation and sponsorship of James U. Sy Jr. in August 1998 at the SAS Dojo, Limuaco Residence, Brgy. villamonte, Bacolod City (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) after a training session circa 1999. Siblings Stella and Noel "Nonong" Fuentes (1st and 5th, kneeling respectively), Future Founders of Kyokan Dojo, also did train with SAS during these times in preparation for their yudansha examination with Aikido Philippines, their mother organization (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) circa 1999, from left, standing: Winston Que, John Paul "JP" Gonzaga, Patricio "Pat" Prologo Sensei, Richard "Bebing" Limuaco, and James U. Sy Jr. From left, kneeling: Victorio c. Perez, Jonald "Jojo" Palomar, Michael Buenaventura, and Jacqueline Doromal (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Roalndo "Bong" Achas Sensei, 2nd Dan Aikikai, (4th from left, kneeling) conducted the Introduction to Nishio Ryu Aikido II seminar at the invitation and sponsorship of James U. Sy Jr. of SAS in December 1998 at the University of St. La Salle (USLS) school grounds, La Salle Ave., Bacolod City. Attedning groups included the Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) of Patricio "Pat" Prologo Sensei, Bacolod Aikido Enthusiasts (BAE) of Maxwell "Max" Maun Sensei, USLS Judo/Aikido Club of narciso "Hansy" L. Alojado and James U. Sy Jr., Cebu Ki Society, Aikido Philippines, Kimdo Martial Arts Organization (KMAO) of Foudner/Chief Instructor Joy T. Divinagracia, and Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis Aficionados Association (LVAAA) of Headmaster Wilson "Nonong" E. Viñas (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
INSTRUCTORS DURING A BAE AIKIDO FELLOWSHIP. From left: Patricio P. Prologo Sensei of Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS), 2nd Dan PAJA; Noel "Nonong" Fuentes of Kyokan Dojo (KD), 1st Dan Aikikai; Roy R. Flores Sr. of Philippine Combat Aikido Federation, 3rd Degree Combat Aikido; and James U. Sy Jr. of Ryu Aikidokan/USLS Aikido Club, 1st Dan Dangayan Singkaw (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Patricio P. Prologo Sensei and his wife Ma. Lorie H. Prologo pose with pioneer members of the Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) during the group's visit to the Prologo Residence last May 23, 2010, Sunday (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Part I: The Passing of a Teacher
Patricio P. Prologo Sensei, Founder of Caltex Judo Club (CJC), Shinsei Judo Club (SJC), and Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS), passed away peacefully in his sleep last July 2, 2010, 12:15 NN, Friday, at the Prologo Residence, Bangga Riles, Prk. Maanyag 2, Brgy. Alijis, Bacolod City. He was 73.
Sensei Pat, as he is lovingly called by his students in the martial arts, retired from active teaching in 2008 when he was hit by a debilitating disease which his doctor can only name as a degenerative disease. His hands were trembling, he can not sleep, and lost a lot of weight. Medical tests can not show anything wrong with him.
A second opinion from another doctor hypothesized that he had previously experienced a mild stroke without him knowing it. Prologo, who was very active in sports and martial arts, had always refused to believe that he can become sick. Thus, this probable mild stroke could have gone unnoticed. A clue that the doctor based his hypothesis on was when Prologo Sensei experienced a degree of paralysis in his left hand in the final years of his life.
Last May 23, 2010, some pioneer members of the Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) visited Prologo Sensei at his home. Pastor Roger Rementas offered to pray over him and Winston Que had tried pranic healing on him. Those who visited Prologo Sensei that day were Bro. Frank Boyero, Hope Canlas, Jacqueline Doromal, Edgar Go, Richard Limuaco, Winston Que, Pastor Roger Rementas, and James U. Sy Jr. Victorio C. Perez had also come to visit.
The last visit of his students to Prologo Sensei was on June 27, 2010. Those who visited were Bernie Bellen, Hope Canlas, Jacqueline Doromal, Edgar Go, Richard Limuaco, Roger Lucina, Jojo Palomar, and Winston Que.
On that fateful day, Prologo Sensei told his wife, Ma. Losie Hontiveros, that he will take a rest because he was very tired. When his wife and daughter were cleaning him up, Prologo raised both arms while still lying down. He breathed his last as he lowered his arms to his center. His family tried to revive him but to no avail.
Although grieving, the Prologo family found solace in the fact that Prologo Sensei passed away peacefully in his sleep and not having endured any traumatic seizures that is so common among dying people.
True to his passion in the martial arts, he had instructed his wife when he was still alive that when he dies, he wants to be buried wearing his Aikido gi “uniform” and hakama “pleated skirt (Nihonggo).” That was how he wanted to be remembered by those he left behind. A few days before his demise, Prologo Sensei even asked his wife if she had already washed his uniform. The Prologo family followed his wishes and had him wear his Aikido gi during the wake. Three pictures of him in his Aikido uniform were also displayed atop his casket.
Prologo Sensei’s body now lies at the Alsibo Memorial Chapels, Inc., Lacson-Burgos Sts., Bacolod City. Internment is tentatively scheduled for July 14, 2010 at the Rolling Hills Memorial Park.
Part II: The Genesis
Patricio “Pat” Pan Prologo (1936-2010), one of the pioneers of Judo and Aikido in Bacolod City, was born on August 15, 1936 in San Miguel, Iloilo to Federico Prologo and Prescilla Pan as the second of five children.
Prologo was a product of Bacolod City National High School (BCNHS), where he was a band member and a runner. In college, he went to the Central Philippine University (CPU) but later transferred to Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod (CSA-B), where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1972.
He married his neighbor Ma. Losie Hontiveros in 1962. Honteveros is the first cousin of journalist Jose Gregorio Hontiveros of the Philippine Free Press and a second cousin of 2010 Philippine Elections senatorial candidate Rizza Hontiveros. The couple has been gifted with five children: Ma. Sophie Prologo, formerly employed with the Civil Registrar’s Office; Patricio H. Prologo Jr., cock breeder; Staff Sgt. Gunji H. Prologo, Philippine Army (PA); Ma. Kristine Prologo, medical/legal transcriptionist; and 1st Lt. Naomi Prologo-Braza, Philippine Army (PA).
According to his wife, Prologo Sensei started his studies of the martial arts while he was in high school. Using Prologo Sensei’s birthday as the base, this could be worked back to anywhere from 1948 to 1952 more or less. Prologo, a bodybuilding enthusiast, was crowned Mr. Bacolod in 1957.
Prologo, while in college, practiced Judo. He was then a working student which gave him the opportunity to organize the Caltex (Bacolod) Judo Club in 1960 at his workplace at Caltex in Banago, Bacolod City. The instructor was Ignacio Ibisa Sensei and the club was affiliated with the Philippine Amateur Judo Association (PAJA), the sole recognized National Sport Association (NSA) for Judo by the Philippine Government. Prologo was a Depot Supervisor at the petroleum company.
By 1963, Anong Javellana was one of the technical advisers of Prologo’s group. Pat Prologo, his brother George P. Prologo, and Rene F. Cornel (1951-2000) were students of Anong Javellana Sensei in Judo. Prologo started his studies of Aikido under Javellana Sensei in Hda. Luisa in Bago City while he was with Caltex Bacolod. Prologo also studied Arnis from Javellana. His learnigns from him became the basic of his own system of Prologo Style Traditional Philippine Dynamic Arnis.
Javellana went to Mapua Institute of Technology where his best friend Vivencio “Ben” Ticao Sr. of Oton (B: 1926) was also enrolled. Judo, as taught by the Kodokan, was introduced to the Philippines by some Japanese businessmen in the mid to late 1930's. Among the places where Judo was taught was the Mapua Institute of Technology at Doroteo Jose St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Ticao and Javellana met at the Mapua Judo Club (founded 1950) and competed in PAJA-sponsored tournaments. Ticao was crowned All Philippine Judo champion sometime in the 1950's. It was from Ticao that Javellana learned his Aikido and later taught it to Prologo.
Engr. Ticao, upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1952, taught Judo to various schools for two and a half years. It was during this time when he got acquainted with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Lt. Col. Jose G. Lukban. Lt. Col. Lukban and several Judo black belts, among them Engr. Ticao, founded the Philippine Amateur Judo Association (PAJA, renamed to All Philippine Judo Federation in 2003 and Philippine Judo Federation in 2008) in 1954 and later organized it in September 1955. PAJA was affiliated with the International Judo Federation (IJF) in 1956. Ticao taught and was made Adviser to the NBI.
In 1957, Engr. Ticao was hired by Morrison Knudsen and Co. as a Project Inspector for the US Navy in Guam. While there he enrolled at an Aikido club headed by Harry Ito Sensei, the Guam Aikido Club. It was here where another Philippine Aikido pioneer, Francisco P. Valencia (1922-2006) of Iloilo, also a judoka, studied Aikido as well as Benjamin G. Galarpe, the future Organizer of the Manila Aikido Club and who taught Ambrosio “Monching” Gavileño of Guimaras, the future Founder/Master of Combat Aikido/Tapondo.
Anong Javellana later joined the Guam Aikido Club and according to Valencia Sensei, was given a brown belt cross rank in Aikido in recognition of his standing in Judo. Not long after Javellana had to go back to the Philippines.
Engr. Ticao assisted Ito Sensei in conducting classes. Tohei, Koichi Sensei (B: 1920), then the Chief Instructor of Aikikai Hombu in Tokyo, Japan, under Aikido Founder Ueshiba, Morihei O’Sensei (1883-1969), visited the club periodically and oversaw promotions. When Ito Sensei left for Japan, he left the care of the club to Engr. Ticao Sensei. When Engr. Ticao Sensei returned to Iloilo in 1966, he turned over the instructorship of the club to Valencia Sensei, then 1st Dan Aikido (promoted to 2nd Dan in 1967).
The International Judo Federation (IJF) honored Engr. Ticao Sensei with a 6th Dan Black Belt in Judo in recognition of his efforts in his dedication to PAJA and propagation of the art and as one of the Founding Members of the Association.
Based on research, interviews, cross referencing, and documentation, it can be pieced together that Harry Ito Sensei as Dojo Cho (Chief Instructor) taught Engr. Vivencio “Ben” Ticao Sr. (B: 1926) and Francisco P. Valencia (1922-2006). Engr. Ticao, as the Assistant Instructor, had also taught his junior Valencia.
Unfortunately there is no available data at the moment on what year Javellana Sensei joined the club or returned to the Philippines so it is not clear if he studied under Ito Sensei, Ticao Sensei, Valencia Sensei, or a combination of any of the three. But what is certain is, his Aikido, which he ultimately passed on to Patricio "Pat" P. Prologo, was descended from the Guam Aikido Club and that these men were bonded by their same background in Judo.
Part III: Prologo Sensei’s Groups
Prologo Sensei’s Judo group later transferred from Caltex to the Paglaum Sports Complex. According to Felix Altarap, Prologo Sensei started teaching basic Aikido to his advanced Judo students when the group was already based at the sports complex. Aikido training was Saturday afternoons while Judo practice was Sunday mornings. Altarap and Rene F. Cornel were part of that group. As far as can be determined, this was the first batch to whom Prologo Sensei taught Aikido to.
The group had to move another time when a conflict within the Paglaum venue ensued. Prologo Sensei and his loyal students took the mat with them when they left Paglaum, the mat being that of the Caltex Judo group. Altarap could no longer remember the exact year but he believes it was around 1976 when the group transferred to St. Joseph High School (SJHS). 1976 is near, if not, the exact date of transfer considering that during a conversation, Jun Torres, a member of Prologo Sensei's group, stated that when he returned to Bacolod in 1978, Prologo Sensei's group was no longer at the Paglaum Sports Complex; in its place was the Paglaum Judo Club.
By this time, Prologo Sensei was already using the name Shinsei Judo Club (SJC) for his group. Available data as of press time could not confirm if the name has been used when they were still in Paglaum or the name Paglaum Judo Club was used then. Prologo Sensei explained to the pioneer students of his Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) back in 1995 that Shinsei means “traditional.” Prologo Sensei continued teaching his Aikido to his students, among them Victorio C. Perez back in 1985.
From 1978-1979, Prologo Sensei was employed by AG&P in Kuwait as a pipefitter foreman. In 1980, he worked as a machinist for the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). He held on to the job for 4 years. Aramco is the state-owned national oil company of KSA headquartered in Dhahran . It is the largest oil corporation in the world with the largest proven crude oil reserves and production. Upon his return to Bacolod City in 1984, Prologo Sensei continued the Shinsei Judo Club (SJC) at the YMCA-Negros Occidental, along Burgos St., Bacolod City.
Meanwhile, Rene F. Cornel, who had his basic Aikido training under Prologo Sensei, traveled to Iloilo to meet Valencia Sensei and later to Manila to train in a crash course under Philippine Aikido pioneer Ernesto “Enie” Talag Sensei, then Chief Instructor of the Ki Society of the Philippines (KISOPHIL). Talag Sensei named him KISOPHIL representative for Bacolod City. Cornel Sensei organized the Ki Society of Negros Occidental (KISONO) in the late 1980’s. Cornel Sensei was the first Aikido student of Prologo Sensei to form his own organization.
In the summer of 1995, Prologo Sensei called for a meeting to revive his group but this time a separate group was formed for Judo and another for Aikido. The groups were called YMCA Judo and Sports Club (YJSC) and the Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS). Judo was taught by Prologo Sensei’s brother, George P. Prologo, 1st Dan Black Belt PAJA, and at some points, by Rene F. Cornel Sensei, 1st Dan Black Belt PAJA. Aikido was taught by Prologo Sensei.
The Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) was started by Prologo Sensei in his house at Cordova with five students: Hope Canlas, P/Sgt. Vic Dueñas, Edgar Go, Rose “Pangging” Margarejo, and Winston Que. But soon practice had to be moved to the YMCA because of space constraints.
In around April 1995, training for the first batch of students of Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) officially started. The first batch of students included Narciso “Hansy” L. Alojado, Hope Canlas, Noel and Noemi "Mimi" Chua, P/Sgt. Vic Dueñas, Nick Flores, Edgar Go, Philip S. Go, Romulo Lorenzo, Rose “Pangging” Margarejo, Naomi Prologo, Winston Que, judoka Romer, Fred Sapa, Combat Aikido blue belt William Sia, James U. Sy Jr., Junifer Valdeviso, and Jimmy Zalderiaga among others. Alojado was the group’s Charter President. More students joined in the years to come, like Jacqueline Doromal (1996) and Sahlee E. Magsipoc (now Vallagomesa) (1997).
Later members included Roberto A. Alaban Jr. (B: 1962, later Founder of satori Dojo in Victorias), Roland "Boy" Alvarez, then Councilor Atty. Juanito Amihan Jr., Michael Buenaventura, Joeffrey S. Deriada of the Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis Aficionados Association (LVAAA), Filomeno Fernandez, John Paul Gonzaga (JP), Cheeney Limuaco, Goki Limuaco, Richard "Bebing" Limuaco, Judo pioneer Atty. Romeo Natino, Poleen B. Natino, Stamen B. Natino, Moises “Jung-Jung” Nifras Jr. of Taekwondo, Jonald “Jojo” Palomar (B: 1969), and Mary Jane Sykay among others.
Instrumental in the establishment of SAS also were the priests who supported the movement. Among them were Fr. Jerson Balitor (D: 2010), who included the SAS in his Martial Arts Association for People’s Integrity Negros (MAAPIN), Fr. Alcuizar, Fr. Mao Buenafe, Fr. Kune Jaranilla, and Fr. Ciano.
During the later half of the 1990s, Stella Fuentes of Aikido Philippines joined practice with the SAS as she was preparing for her yudansah "black belt (Nihonggo)” examinations in Manila. Later, she and her brother, Noel "Nonong" Fuentes, from time to time would join practice at SAS in the spirit of camaraderie even when they had already established their Kyokan Dojo, which was affiliated with Aikido Philippines, in Homesite, Bacolod City.
Part IV: The Final Years
In 1996, Alojado founded the University of St. La Salle (USLS) Judo Club with Patrico “Pat” P. Prologo Sensei as the Chief Instructor. Cornel Sensei taught the Judo class while Prologo Sensei handled the Aikido class. Alojado, who was connected with the Center for La Sallian Ministries (CELAM), recruited students from the Integrated School (IS) to form the group. The group remained active for about a year.
Meanwhile, at around this time, Felix Altarap was also maintaining a Judo/Aikido/Arnis group at St. Joseph High School, which came to be known as the St. Joseph Martial Arts Club sometime in 2003 or earlier.
On April 20, 1997, Patrico “Pat” P. Prologo Sensei, 2nd Dan Black Belt PAJA, gave out the first ranking promotions for SAS members. At that time the highest rank he has bestowed was 1st Kyu Brown Belt, which Alojado and Sy received. In the later half of 1997, SAS transferred its training venue from the YMCA to the Limuaco Residence in Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod City through the kindness of Richard "Bebing" Limuaco. Sy, who had trained with Rolando "Bong" Achas Sensei in Quezon City at the recommendation of Prologo Sensei, served as Prologo Sensei’s primary uke “receiver (Nihonggo)” in the most part of 1997 up to 1999.
After two seminars by Achas Sensei in 1998 in Bacolod, the Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) started adopting certain weapon-based techniques of Nishio-style Aikido into its repertoire. However, Prologo Sensei gave more emphasis in transmitting the techniques he had learned from his teacher, Anong Javellana Sensei, which his students used during randori "sparring (Nihonggo)." Prologo Sensei's SAS remained to be independent.
In 1999, Alojado and Sy, together with Perez, asked permission from Prologo Sensei to separate and set up their own group, the USLS Aikido Club (the newly revived USLS Judo Club) and the Ryu Aikidokan, which they affiliated with Dangayan Singkaw-Aikido Shinzui Group of R. Jun Batobalani Shihan, 6th Dan Aikikai, and where they later earned their yudansha "black belt (Nihonggo)" rank in Aikido. The group maintained cordial relationship with Prologo Sensei’s SAS.
In 2000, Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) transferred its training venue at the acupuncture clinic of Roland "Boy" Alvarez at 2nd Floor Benjie’s Bldg., along Gatuslao St., in front of the Bacolod City Public Plaza. The group again transferred to the Eagle’s Gym at the WSC Bldg., San Sebastian St. in around 2003. When Eagle’s Gym transferred to Araneta St., SAS training was also relocated there. The latest transfer was to the MMB Dance Studio in front of Lopue’s San Sebastian, along Araneta St.
During the early to mid 2000’s, Prologo Sensei issued a number of Black Belt club recognitions under Shinsei Aikido Society (SAS) to later generations of SAS practitioners. When Prologo Sensei finally retired from teaching in 2008, four of his black belts took over the teaching functions of the club. These individuals were Jhun Montemayor, Roger Rey Lucena, Bernie Belen, and Jonald "Jojo" Palomar. Anggo and Karlo Ybesate are also active.
In 2007, Prologo Sensei experienced paralysis of his left hand and in 2009 was a hospital outpatient. Doctors diagnosed him as having low calcium and potassium. His family cared for him all these years up to the time he passed away.
Prologo Sensei's wife remembers him as a loving husband, a responsible father, a helpful neighbor, and a compassionate and dedicated martial artist. His children describe him as a very patient man who lighten things up with his humor and he always see to it that he is there when his family needs him and his family is always cared for.
Among his children, Prologo Sensei taught his Philippine Dynamic Arnis to both his youngest daughters, Ma. Kristine Prologo and Naomi Prologo-Braza, but it was only Naomi who also studied Aikido and Judo under him.
Prologo Sensei was featured in the documentary “Stickfighters of Buenos Aires” by W.G. Productions and Art Vision which aired over at Negros Progress Channel 17, through the help of Fr. Gerson Balitor. There he demonstrated his interpretation of the Aikido jo “short staff (Nihonggo)” and the basic strikes of his Philippine Dynamic Arnis System.
Prologo Sensei was first brought to the public attention when Sy featured him as an Aikido pioneer in Bacolod in his documentary article “What is Aikido?” which was published in a February 1998 issue of Sun Star Bacolod.
Alojado, wrote a piece about Prologo Sensei entitled “Sensei Pat Prologo: Surmounting the Odds with Aikido” in the Vol. 11 No. 1 issue of the Rapid Journal, the one and only martial arts magazine in the Philippines, based in Binondo, Manila.
Memorials for Prologo Sensei was also psoted by Alojado and Sy at http://visayanfilipinomartialarts.blogspot.com to permanently record his contributions and legacy to the world of martial arts.
At the time of his death, Prologo Sensei held a 2nd Dan Black Belt in both Judo and Karate. He has been recognized as the Founder/Grandmaster of Prologo Style Traditional Philippine Dynamic Arnis System by the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc. of Founders/Masters James U. Sy Jr. and Narciso “Hansy” L. Alojado, both 4th Degree Black Belt, through the authority of the group’s Council of Elders represented by Grandmaster Benefredo “Bebing” M. Lobrido of Bago City, 1st Generation Inheritor of Original Filipino Tapado, and Grandmaster Elmer V. Montoyo of Bacolod City, 8th Dan Red Belt Tang Soo Do, Founder of Filipino Tang Soo Do.
Patricio "Pat" Prologo sensei was finally laid to rest on July 14, 2010, Wednesday at the Rolling Hills Memorial Park Cemetery, Burgos Avenue, Bacolod City.