Jose Parica – Legendary Philippine Pool Player
Jose Parica was an iconic Philippine pool player who amassed more than 100 tournament victories throughout his career and held the distinction of playing an unparalleled nine-ball perfect game – becoming one of only three ever to accomplish such an accomplishment!
Parica first honed his skills at billiard halls owned by his father and quickly overtook much older players there. Later he moved to America and launched what has been termed as the “Filipino invasion,” especially with regard to nine-ball.
Early Life and Education
Parica first began playing pool at seven in his father’s billiard hall in Blumentritt, Philippines. Soon he developed his skills to the point of defeating opponents much older than himself and would go on to dominate both domestically and win tournaments internationally.
He was among the pioneering wave of Filipino players to break into the American pool circuit; yet he felt his efforts weren’t recognized for what they were worth.
He worked tirelessly to change how his peers perceived the sport of pool and demanded respect for him and players from other nations. In 2014, his efforts paid off when he was honored with induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame – becoming only the third Filipino to make it this far.
At an early age, Parica learned his craft in two billiard halls owned by his father in Blumentritt and Sta. Cruz in Manila – soon beating much older players! Thanks to this talent he amassed enough sponsors for entry in his first international tournament.
In 1988, Efren Bata Reyes won eight out of nine tournaments on the Japanese circuit and placed second in one tournament he entered, while also taking down his archrival Efren Bata Reyes at Japan’s premier World Pro Tournament event – The World Pro Tournament held each December – which at that time was considered to be its premier competition.
In 1996, Parica returned to playing on the American pool circuit, winning four tournaments against Reyes six times and Johnny Archer seven – as well as taking home the Camel Overall Bonus of $50K – but his success faded quickly as Francisco Django Bustamante emerged into prominence.
Achievement and Honors
Parica honing his skills at the billiard halls he and his father owned together, winning over 100 international tournaments by his mid-60s. Seeking better conditions for Filipino players, in 1976 Parica organized and became president of the Philippine Pocket Billiards Association before taking part in his inaugural tournament outside the Philippines, finishing 9th at the World Straight Pool Championship that same year.
Amang and Giant Killer were two names synonymous with Parica during his dominating Filipino invasion in the late 1970s, winning numerous tournaments and being honored as Player of the Year by Billiards Digest in 1997.
Jose Parica is an accomplished tournament player that has competed all around the world. His specialty lies in long races with aggressive play tenacity; one-handed plays can also be performed easily by him.
Filipina players regard him as an icon. He helped launch the “Filipino invasion” of American pool circuit during the late 70s. Known for his prowess in nine-ball, he holds the only perfect game under race-to-11 rules.
Parica was honored with induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame at 65. This honour served to honor his legacy and inspire other Filipinos to follow in his footsteps.
Jose Parica was one of the greatest pool players in Philippine history. Achieve over 100 championships himself, he became widely known by both Amang (Tagalog for “father”) and The Giant Killer as nicknames. Recognized for starting what became known as ‘Filipino invasion” of American nine-ball billiards.
He literally grew up with a cue in his hand; hitting his first ball at seven, he has been playing pool ever since. Since then he has competed in all the top tournaments worldwide, even dominating Japan in 1988 by winning eight out of nine tournaments and placing second in one match; being the only professional to ever score a perfect game of 9-ball in professional matches.