I knew it was a Filipino blade the first time I saw it. It was both ancient and modern. Just a few years before, Tuhon Raf had shown his Sayoc Winkler RnD Hawk one night as we sat around the table with Pamana Tuhon. Again, amongst brothers it’s accomplice appeared. The first version I saw had the Curly Maple handle, just like this one. Later ones that Tuhon Raf would let me had different handles and even a digital camo coating. One year as I was in San Francisco visiting in-laws, Tuhon Raf taught his Tribal Weapons seminar and I finally had the chance to purchase the Bontoc Trainer. I remember Guro John bought the last sheath. And to this day, that has always been my favorite trainer.
I posted on Instagram as soon as I got it, and Tuhon Raf shared the story of this blade. How a Bontoc warrior gave the original inspiration for the blade to his uncle in the 50’s. Thirty years later he gifted it to a young Tuhon Raf, and upon Pamana Tuhon’s suggestion the blade was bound through time and space to its own future self as it appears here. A fitting tribute to its designer and maker, his family, the Tribe and The Source. The ten thousand hands.