A Tribute to Manong Victorino Ton
GME Leo Giron and Victorino Ton
Victorino Ton was born on June 29, 1895 in Lapaz Abra, Philippines. Ton arrived in Hawaii in 1924 and then to Stockton, California in 1930. Ton first worked in the pineapple and sugar cane plantations in Hawaii for 6 years. After completing his work contract in Hawaii he moved on to Stockton, California in 1930. Ton’s first job in Stockton was cutting asparagus. Victorino Ton to my knowledge is the oldest living arnis escrima player in America. At the time of this article Ton is currently 108 years. Ton lives at a Filipino lodge in Stockton California. He lives a very simple life and enjoys gardening and playing cards.
When playing with Victorino Ton, the first question he had for me was “why are we so close”, the second questions was “do I have a longer weapon”? This would lead me to believe he was a cabaroan (new style) escrimador. Ton plays cinco tero (five strikes) and incorporates blocking and counter-striking. He started playing with sticks in the Philippines at the age of 10 this would be 1905. This was without a doubt one of the most fertile times of escrimador’s in Philippine history due to the Filipino revolution. Ton is truly a son of the revolution that fought against the Spaniards during the Philippines revolution to gain their freedom from Spain. Manong Ton also is a life member of the Legionarios del Trabajo in America and is a member of General Lim lodge with over 60 years of service to the Filipino lodge. Like Manong Joe Pacpaco they are both life members and honorary Great Grand Advisors of Bahala Na® Martial Arts Association.