The pandemic has given the San Miguel point guard a chance to strengthen family ties and to put his priorities in order.
Watch out for a ‘more mature’ Terrence Romeo
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 26, 2020 - 12:00am

If there’s one thing that San Miguel point guard Terrence Romeo has learned during the four-month lockdown, it’s strengthening family ties.

“Our family has become even closer,” said Terrence who has been happily home-quarantined in his and wife Bee’s house in a Quezon City subdivision with their two-year-old son Terrence Jr., Terrence’s siblings Charlton and Pia, and their parents. (Bee requested that her photo not be published. Too shy!) “It has been a long time since magkaroon kami ng chance mag-bonding ng ganito.” (“Yes,” confirmed Bee Espina. “Ngayon lang sila uli nagka-samasama.”)

Terrence and Bee play 2-on-2 badminton with his dad William and mom Eudes in their garden. With his brother Charlton and sister Pia, Terrence would do “movie marathons.” On weekends, they would binge on food, glorious food!

Terrence with son Terrence Jr. during the boy’s second birthday last May 20.

“I am hands-on with my son,” Terrence shared, “talagang tinututukan ko ang kanyang development. We bike together. He loves soccer at sana ma-shift uli sa basketball ang interest niya.”

Terrence has recovered from a “freak” accident during a practice in which he broke his knee.

As Peak endorser promoting the product online during the lockdown.

“I stepped on an exercise equipment habang nag-sho-shoot ako,” related Terrence. “Nobody wanted it to happen. Accident, eh. In the end, naayos naman. I got immediate help. Hindi rin ako pinabayaan ng mga coaches at ng SMC (San Miguel Corporation). They had me checked at once and then nag-pa-therapy din.”

He’s now okay and, “Sa awa po ni God, nakapag-conditioning na rin. I was able to play in one game and after that, nag-lockdown na.”

He continues to train and work out.

Family bonding with mom Eudes, dad William, brother Charlton and sister Pia. (Terrence’s wife Bee Espina requested not to have her photo published with this story.)

“Yes, it’s important siempre to maintain physical activities because anytime we might start to practice na. Discipline is also needed when it comes to food, and exercise kahit medyo limited lang ang puwedeng gawin.”

He has launched the TRmovechallenge for the young.

With mom Eudes on Mothers’ Day last May.

“I did some moves na gagayahin nila and then the winners got grocery bags bilang konting tulong na rin. So far, there have been almost 100 winners.”

Like his colleagues, Terrence misses playing terribly.

“You see, my whole life is talagang focused on basketball. Then, all of a sudden, stop! I miss the fans, too, ’yung cheering nila.”

The pandemic has given Terrence a chance to take stock of his life.

Advice to fans: ‘They should not forget to pray. Walang impossible sa Kanya. But praying is not enough. Dapat mag-sipag din sila.’

“I realize that what’s really important more than anything is your health, ang buhay mo. Sa awa ni God, we are healthy. My parents are seniors and they are not allowed to go out of the house. Wala sa amin nakakalabas. I have my son to take good care of. We all should really be very careful kasi one wrong move and you can get sick. Family’s health is the priority. Aanhin mo ‘yung may kita ka nga, pero puwede naman malagay sa peligro ang buhay ng mga minamahal mo.”

The family bonding continues.

“We talk. On Sundays, we have lunch na garden set-up. Mama would cook and we have a barbeque party, kami-kami lang. Aside from badminton, Papa and I play chess. Kami ni misis, watch ng Netflix at night. Masaya. Ang saya-saya! Nothing compares with family togetherness.”

So what can the fans expect from the “new” Terrence Romeo?

“Siguro mas mature na Terrence Romeo. Mas magiging better ako when it comes to my style of play, mas focus sa family and sa career.”

 

Incidentally, how does Terrence take care of his body?

 

In a “body talk” with The STAR nearly two years ago, Terrence was said to have no vice — that is, he doesn’t  smoke, he doesn’t do drugs, he doesn’t gamble and he doesn’t drink too much (only “socially”).

Pre-pandemic, his nightlife was very minimal, limited only to invitations from friends. In short, as most athletes (in any field) should be, he is clean-living, that’s why he’s enlisted as an endorser of some products (among them Peak, a brand of shoes, making him the only Filipino who has his own brand).

For that “body talk,” Terrence showed up in full Peak ensemble from head to foot — a black Peak jacket over a red Peak T-shirt, a pair of black Peak jogging pants, Peak socks and Peak shoes.

Looks- and career-wise, Terrence is at his peak (pun intended). A Piscean (March 16, 1992), Terrence (at that time) stood 5’11”; weighed 170 lbs.; and wore  size-L shirt and size-11 shoes.

Here are excerpts:

How much sleep do you get per night?

“Six to seven hours.”

Favorite sleepwear?

“Peak shirt and shorts.”

Last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

“I pray.”

First thing that you do as soon as you wake up?

“I pray.”

How do you relax?

“I am not fond of traveling. Mas gusto ko sa beach lang, pinapanood ang dagat habang nagsa-sound trip.”

How are you as a father?

“Very fulfilling ang pakiramdam. Pag nakikita ko ang baby ko, nawawala ang pagod ko.”

Favorite sounds?

“OPM and some Filipino rap songs.

What kind of movies do you like?

“Action movies.”

Who’s your favorite action star?

“Robin Padilla.” (Terrence donated to the Marawi fund through Robin Padilla. — RFL).

No plan to try showbiz?

“It’s not my line. I don’t know how to act. Never kong naisip na pumasok sa showbiz.”

How do you deal with the lack of privacy?

“Okey lang ‘yung pansinin ka; I won’t be where I am now if not for the fans. As long as walang bastos na sinasabi sa akin or walang hindi magandang sinasabi sa akin, no problem.”

Or else?

“Of course, I react. Makakarinig din sila sa akin ng hindi maganda. We are all human; I also get hurt like everybody else. Magsasalita ka ng hindi maganda sa akin samantalang hindi mo naman ako pinapakain, hindi tama ‘yon.”

Are you active on social media?

“Not so much. I post only things about my endorsements.”

You are idolized mostly by the youth. What can you say to them?

(Terrence graduated with a degree in SRM [Sports Recreational Management] from FEU where he started his basketball career with the Tamaraws.) “They should not forget to pray. Walang imposible sa Kanya. But praying is not enough. Kelangan magsipag din sila. Work hard. Dapat marespeto sa lahat ng tao, kahit sa mga mababa sa’yo. Be humble because you don’t know how long you will be popular. Ako, hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan ako si Terrence Romeo. Time will come when I will be a has-been, na laos na ako. I want people to remember me as somebody na walang taong na-agrabyado, walang taong niyabangan at walang taong tinapakan.”

Nice advice.

“I hope they remember my advice. Kasi ang daming mga kabataan ngayon na pasibol pa lang, hindi pa sikat, pero mayabang na. They should always have their feet on the ground. Kelangan palaging nakaapak sa lupa.”

And what’s the best thing about being sikat (popular)?

“I can help my family. I serve as an inspiration to the youth…inspirasyon sa mga kabataan na may pangarap na gustong matupad. Like now, I already have a baby. Gusto ko paglaki niya, he will be proud of me…maging proud na ang Papa niya ay naging PBA player.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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