Guro Doran Sordo pays tribute to his long time teacher Grandmaster Tony Diego.

Guro Doran Sordo


I met Mang Tony Diego Kalis Ilustrisimo around 1986. He was introduced to me by my master, GM Topher Ricketts when we would accompany him to practice at the Luneta park on Sundays or the gym in Binondo. As the years passed, Master Topher would always ask Master Tony to teach me some techniques and polish details in my form whether it be stance, swing, footwork, etc. Master Tony was always so generous in his teaching and would share so much. I know him to be a quiet, humble man who would always tell me not to call him “Master”. Whenever he saw me, he would always fondly greet me by exclaiming “Sord!” and he always had a smile on his face whenever i came to Luneta. We would sit sometimes between practice and just chat. He would tell me about the good old days with Master Topher, showing me techniques while we were chatting. How he remembers us when we were still young and would joke that we were thinner then. He was a learned man, who would often ask me how my spiritual practice was coming along.

I remember one of the last conversations I had with Master Topher before he passed away. He told me “Never forget your Ilustrisimo. See Master Tony as often as you can and learn as much as you can. You practice what you learn until you are old.” I remember now the last conversation i had with Master Tony at his home in Tondo. He said to always be mindful of the details. I remember the last time I saw him. It was a day before he passed away. We said a prayer together and I went downstairs so he could rest.

I am honoured to be his student and proud to continue his legacy however way I can. I feel privileged to have been able to spend some time with him and learn from this great teacher. I can almost hear swords clashing as he is reunited once again with Grand Master Tatang Ilustrisimo, GM Topher Ricketts and PG Edgar Sulite. We miss you Master Tony.

Paalam Po, GM Tony Diego.



Master Diego 1

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