Senen Pangilinan, one of the island’s top billiards players, died last July 10 after succumbing from an apparent stroke. He was 59. Almost immediately after his passing was announced, social media was flooded with tributes for the native of Pampanga, Philippines.
Jerry Soriano, who like Pangilinan is a member of the Katila Boyz, said he has lost a good and loyal friend. He added that he and Pangilinan shared a lot of good times together not only on the pool bars of Saipan, but also outside during get-togethers and outings.
Robert Sanciangco said he first met Pangilinan through his father, who was a close friend. Then he too became close to Pangilinan when he first joined a billiards tournament in 2007 and they’ve been inseperable ever since.
“He was very humble, always happy, and easy to ask for help. He’s one of my idols in billiards and he was as great a friend as he was a great pool player. We didn’t just lose a friend but a brother,” he said.
Rowell “Cobra” Mariano said he had known Pangilinan since 1996 and he remembers his friend as always smiling and a kind-hearted person. I fact, Mariano said he never saw Pangilinan get mad during the years he’d known him.
“He is like a brother to me. We’ve been together in many billiards teams from No Mercy up to now in Team Hustler,” he said.
Erwin Gomez seconded Mariano’s observation that Pangilinan never had a mean bone in his body. “He’s a good man, always happy, and never really gets mad.”
He added even though Pangilinan was such an excellent pool player, he was never brash and always remained humble. He admitted he couldn’t help but cry when he heard the news of his friend’s untimely demise.
Joey Lucido also fondly remembers Pangilinan. “He was a happy guy. Playing pool is like hobby for him since his younger years when he started playing in Pampanga. As a friend you can always count on him.”
Nolan Cultura said he had known Pangilinan for more than 10 years and said he was always someone you can ask help from. Bar none, he said Pangilinan is one of the best pool players on Saipan.
Pangilinan’s 36-year-old son, Albert, said his father came to Saipan in 1991 and since then had worked for Saipan Aluminum as a fabricator.
He said like what his friends attested to his father was indeed a good person. “What I can say is he was a very good person, he was a good father, and a good friend. Even if there’s a problem you will never see him being down. It’s no wonder why his friends in the Katila Boyz think highly of him and they’ve been together almost 20 years,” he said in Filipino.
Albert said he thanked God that he was able to live with his father when he came to Saipan in 2015.
A memorial service for Pangilinan will be held on July 20 at Commonwealth Health Center morgue, 8am-9am. It will be followed by a final viewing at Divine Mercy Chalan Kanoa, 9:30am-10:30am. Albert said his father’s remains will cremated.