Biography of Louis Tiumalu "Tupuivao" Lagarejos Founder of Lagarejos Sikaran International
Grand Master (GM) Louis Tiumalu Lagarejos was born on January 30, 1935 in Tutuila, American Samoa. GM Lagarejos’ father was Anacleto Charles Lagarejos from Batangas, Philippines and his mother, Tauiilelago Taimane Tiumalu Lagarejos was from Fagatogo, American Samoa.Their family consisted of two (2) other sons and six (6) daughters.GM Lagarejos began his education in Samoa, then Hawaii; and finally graduating from Lian Batangas High School in Batangas, Philippines.GM Lagarejos began his martial arts training with his father in the art of Sikaran at the age of 7, and completed his instruction in the art of Sikaran with Grand Master Pacifico.
In 1953, GM Lagarejos joined the United States Navy at Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines.During his enlistment, he served on the USS Saratoga (CVA-60) and the USS Independence (CVA-62). He was honorably discharged on October 26, 1959, due to injuries he received during the Korean War.While in the U.S. Navy, he met and later married Puerto Rican born Olga Maria Gonzalez-Ramirez in the Bronx, New York.The marriage resulted in the birth of three (3) children: Lawrence - born in 1960; Mark - born in 1961; and Taimane - born in 1973.
While employed in New York from 1959 to 1970, GM Lagarejos began teaching the art of Sikaran at Lehman Village in Harlem, New York.By the 1960's, GM Lagarejos was already an accomplished teacher of Sikaran in New York.Some of his students included: Joseph Lebron, Michael Quinones, Louis Casillas, Hilton Ruiz, and George Chartier.He coordinated the Lehman Village Neighborhood patrol and attended classes at Pace College and the New York University.In addition, GM Lagarejos also served as a police officer of the 23rd Precinct for theCity of New York, Emergency Control Board Civil Defense.He was later promoted to the rank of Sergeant, Identification # 380246, Shield # 182.
In 1970, GM Lagarejos and his family moved to Luquillo, Puerto Rico and almost immediately began teaching Sikaran.One of his students was Ernesto Cruz, who is currently employedwith the U.S. Department of Justice’s Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florida.From 1971 - 1974, GM Lagarejos moved to Bayamon, Puerto Rico.As usual, GM Lagarejos began teaching the art of Sikaran in Magnolia Gardens.During his time in Puerto Rico, he awarded black belts to his sons as well as to Juan “Tom” Rodriguez, Marcelino Collazo, Manolo Nieves, Joaquin Cruz, and others.
Family and devoted students
In 1974, GM Lagarejos and his family moved to Pago Pago, American Samoa to spend time with his ailing mother, and accepted employment with the American Samoa Government. From 1974 to 1981, GM Lagarejos taught the art of Sikaran in Fagatogo, American Samoa. He awarded the rank of black belt to Eletise Tago & Logotaeao “Logo” Veu.
In 1981, GM Lagarejos moved to San Francisco, CA.He was employed by the Federal Auditor/Monitor until 1984.As was his practice, he began teaching the art of Sikaran.During this period, he awarded the rank of black belt to Braulio “Larry” Agudelo.While in California, GM Lagarejos continued his formal education by attending the San Mateo Community College, San Francisco City College, and the San Francisco State University.
During his time in California, GM Lagarejos traveled periodically to the various Sikaran schools in Puerto Rico and on the East Coast of the United States to continue his teaching and vision.GM Lagarejos authorized the promotion of a limited number of black belts to the title of Master in the art of Sikaran.These Masters have successfully continued to teach and promote the art of Sikaran throughout the U.S.
In January of 2004, GM Lagarejos moved back to his adopted home of Puerto Rico and purchased his dream house in the town of Corozal.GM Lagarejos hoped this new home could be the future training headquarters of Sikaran International.It was located in the beautiful mountains of Corozal with a wondrous view of the coast.
On March 16, 2004, GM Lagarejos passed away in Corozal, Puerto Rico from a fatal heart attack.He was buried with honor in Section H, Tomb 873, of the “Cementerio Nacional de Puerto Rico” (National Cemetery of Puerto Rico) of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
He is survived by his California Law Enforcement officer sons, Lawrence & Mark, who work in the areas of drug enforcement, gang and violence suppression.They also teach high risk entry and are certified defensive tactics and firearms instructors; and his beloved daughter, Taimane, whom he lovingly called “Miam Miam.”
GM Lagarejos is also survived by his black belt “Masters” and students throughout the U.S. and abroad.He will always be remembered by his students as a kind and giving man.May he rest in peace.