Let this post help anyone seeking information about Ronej Cues.
You might have heard about Ronej Cues from ebay or from one of the popular billiards forums out there. I, on the other hand, am just happy to share some information about Ronej, his cues, and his business. Ronej is Jenor (spelt backwards) Urate. He is a retired professional from the construction industry. What exactly was his job before, I do not know. He went into the cue making business because his nephew, Steve Urate, a pool player who shifted full time into cue-making, convinced him to finance a cue-making business that will concentrate on the foreign market – particularly ebay. I believe Steve and his friends were taught by a certain foreigner to sell their cues online.
Steve is the primary cue maker for Jenor. They have a team of about 4-5 men who work daily in Jenor’s shop located beside his house. I know from a fact that this team of cue makers came from other well known local cue manufacturers such as Aragon, Linds and Edwin Reyes. I know Raul (part of Jenor’s team) came from Aragon because I have talked to him personally.
I know all of this because I have been to Jenor’s shop a couple of times now. It is the nearest cue shop from where I live. Jenor is a very, very friendly guy who knows how to satisfy a customer. I have yet to own a Ronej cue (my order is currently being made), but I already have had a couple of my cues modified and re-finished. I also get to see and hold whatever finished cue he may have during my visits. The cues’ craftsmanship is excellent. Everything is made by hand but I could hardly see any flaws from the finished cues. They can build exactly what you want. I consider their style of business as “do exaclty what the customer wants.” I can also attest to the playability of the cue because one of my repaired cues has a new Ronej shaft to it. I consider it as a typical solid, aged and treated piece of maple made into a shaft.
Ronej cues is considered as one of the 2nd-level cues coming from the Philippines. The 1st level includes Edwin Reyes, Linds and Viattorre. The first three of course, you are already buying the name. Philippine-made cues have had a bad reputation to the foreign market due to craftsmanship and warpage. This reputation is slowly being reversed by the 1st-level cue makers and for me, Ronej cues can compete with the best of them. Ronej cues does not have a “signature” hit, since I mentioned earlier that they will do exactly what the customer wants, but if you are looking for a particular “hit,” I suggest knowing first what kind of materials you want especially for the joint and the ferrule, as well as the type of tip. They have all kinds of materials readily available. Soon I will update this post and post some pictures of my cues particularly the Ronej cue (when I get it) and the ones I had repaired.
In the meantime, you can browse Ronej cues in ebay.
By the way, there is also a seller in ebay called Vhante Cues. That is Steve Urate. Basically those cues are done by him from start to finish so there may be a signature style there.