After watching Petron’s tough team practice last week, I happen to sit beside the team’s long-time superstar center Danny Ildefonso as he was cooling down.
He was talking with Petron’s top rookie pick June Mar Fajardo, the 6’9” Cebuano, who is being groomed as the Boosters’ next big superstar.
Danny I. was no Ramon S. Ang, who now runs San Miguel Corp., but due to his experience in business also – poultry farm in Pangasinan as well apartment rentals in Pasig, he was somehow answering some questions June Mar started to ask about business.
Danny said, “Kung gusto mo maging successful sa business, kailangan mo ng mga kaibigan na tutulong sa iyo. Puwede kita ipakilala sa mga kaibigan ko sa Victory… Saka mahalaga, kung magka-girlfriend ka or mag-asawa ka later, di lang basta maganda, na ang gusto eh pera mo lang, pero yung mahal ka talaga saka mahal niya ang Diyos.”
I seldom hear that kind of statement from a PBA superstar these days.
For too many times, athletes have the tendency to be more consumed with their career, their fans and stocking up of wealth and enjoying the nice, comfortable life.
While there is nothing wrong with all these, Danny’s short talk with June Mar before they left the Acropolis gym, goes to show the depth he now has in his relationship with God.
Danny, who brings his wife Ren and five kids to Victory Ortigas on Sundays, said it’s never easy living his Christian faith in the glitz and glamourous PBA life.
But he finds help and prayer support from his pastors and friends from Victory.
He knows basketball won’t be forever. And the fame and fortune he enjoys today may be gone tomorrow. Yet, the only constant he has in life beyond basketball is Jesus.
As we part ways when he dropped me beside SM Megamall, I just remembered again Hebrews 13:8 that says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.