Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno (born January 30, 1957 in Manila) is a Filipino bowler. He has won the World Cup of Bowling (1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996), the World's Invitational Tournament (1984) and the World Tenpin Masters championship (1999).
He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for three records:
1) for most Bowling World cup wins
2) for being the youngest ever to win the Bowling World Cup ( 19 years old)
3) for having won the most number of bowling tournament titles.
In total, Paeng has 118 career bowling titles. Paeng who still actively competes up to this day is the only bowling athlete to have won or awarded titles in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
He is the only bowling athlete in the world who has received the prestigious International Olympic Committee President's Trophy and was the first international male bowling athlete to be enshrined in the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum based in St. Louis, Missouri in 1993. In November 1999, the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) named Paeng as the "International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium."
In a ceremony held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates during the World Championships, an FIQ official cited Paeng with these words: "No international bowling athlete is more deserving of recognition than Paeng. In addition to his long list of well-known achievements as a world champion in three decades, Paeng truly has been and continues to be an extraordinary ambassador for Filipino sport."
Paeng is the only athlete in the Philippines who has been given the highest award to a Filipino by three Philippine presidents. In 1984, Paeng was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. In 1999, President Joseph E. Estrada awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor and in 2008, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo awarded Paeng the Order of Lakandula with Class of Champion for Life and was declared Best Filipino athlete of all time.
Both the Philippine Senate and House of Congress have declared Paeng the "Greatest Philippine Athlete of All Time".
In its September 2003 issue, the Prestigious Bowlers Journal International named Paeng as the Greatest International Bowler of All Time.
Paeng was named Athlete of the Century by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in the end of 1999 and Athlete of the Millennium in 2000. The Philippine Sportswriters Association has named him Philippine Athlete of the year a record 5 times. He was the first athlete to be inducted in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 1993.
Paeng bore the Flag of the Philippines in various World Games, Asian Games and the South East Asian Games.
Paeng was named World Bowler of the Year three times (1984,1985 and 1992) by the World Bowling Writers He was also a TOYM awardee for sports in 1978 and he is the youngest up to this date to have received this prestigious award given by the Philippine Jaycees.
At present Paeng has been designated by the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) as its International Bowling Ambassador for Bowling and promotes bowling around the world and he also Certifies Coaches for USBC.
Nepomuceno is married to Pinky Puyat, the managing director of Puyat Sports. They have three children: Rafael Jose, Jr., Saira Margarita and Isabel Angela.