Amazing Women: How Rubilen Amit succeeded in a man's sport of billiards

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2023 12:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2023 04:25 PM

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MANILA - An individual realizes full potential once his or her talent gets properly cultivated nurtured.

Proof of that is Rubilen Amit, one of the best -- if not the best -- female cue artist ever produced by the country.

She is a two-time World Women’s 10-Ball queen and a World Mixed Team 10-Ball champion. She collected a total of 10 gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games aside from racking several other titles in international tournaments.

Amit is a giant crammed into a 4-foot-11 frame. She became successful while competing in what is generally considered a “man’s sport.”

But the successful Cebuana stressed that she could not have done it without her biggest supporters: her parents.

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“Honestly, it's really a male-dominated sport, lalo na nung nagsimula ako,” said Amit.

“I'm just so fortunate I have a set of parents who were really very supportive. Hindi nila pina-feel sa 'kin na iba ako in terms na it could be a disadvantage na isa akong babae na sumasali sa torneyo na punong puno ng mga lalaki.”

While other parents warn their kids from frequenting billiard halls, Amit was rewarded by her parents for every favorable placing in tournaments.

Her parents recognized her gift and so she was given their full support. 

“When I was in high school, when I was 12 years old, for every place as I progress in the tournament, pataas ng pataas ang premyo na nakukuha ko sa parents ko,” Amit recounted. 

“(I was given) shirts or even simple as pogs… pants. I think ang pinakamagandang nakuha ko sa parents ko ay Air Uptempo. Batang '90s ako. That's what I got when I won the finals nung nag-champion ako.”

The rewards eased the pressure of competition, said Amit. 

Most of the time, she would compete against male cue artists. With skill and mental fortitude, she placed most of her male competitors at a disadvantage.

“Na-feel ko nga the pressure was on the guys kasi batang babae ako, tapos kalaban lalaki,” she said. "Definitely nagkaroon ako ng experiences na may napipikon, nagagalit.”

“Pero sa akin laro lang talaga during that time. For me natutuwa pa nga ako 'pag napipikon. Ibig sabihin, 'Uy, I'm getting into his nerves, 'yung mental game niya mawawala.’”

A year after completing a college degree in accountancy at the University of Sto. Tomas, Amit joined the national pool for billiards. In 2005, she won her first of 10 Southeast Asian Games gold medals.

Four years later, she became the first Filipina to win a world billiards title by beating Kelly Fisher, 10-7, in the finals of the Yalin Women’s World 10-Ball Championship. Amit did it again, becoming a two-time women’s world champion.

She joined the ranks of Pinoy greats like Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo, even Amang Parica in terms of legendary status.

In 2022, she received the honor of becoming one of The 11 Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS).

Now at the latter stage of her colorful career, Amit felt it is time to pay forward.

“I realized that more women should be in this sport,” she said. “Kasi when I played billiards, it has really helped me…. marami akong natutunan na nagagamit ko sa everyday life ko.”

“Kaya I decided to have the Amit Cup. It's for amateur women players. Right now I'm in the latter stage of my career, I'm hoping more Filipinas will be able to take the sport more seriously and represent the country in the near future.”

It is her turn to nurture, so to speak.

“Sa totoo lang they could be my competitors as well,” Amit admitted. “But it's more than just me… it's really about the sport, the country. Way bigger than me.”

This article is part of the Amazing Women series of ABS-CBN News this month of March, featuring stories of select women who are making a mark in their respective fields and advocacies. March is National Women's Month in the Philippines.


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