Efren alive and laughing

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star
Efren alive and laughing
Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino billiards icon Efren “Bata” Reyes is getting used to hearing “fake news” on his own passing.

Yesterday morning, word spread on social media that the 66-year-old former world champion has passed away.

It’s not the first time.

“Nangyari na rin dati (It has happened before),” said Reyes, the affable billiards superstar with an infectious, toothless smile.

“Okay lang ako (I’m fine),” he said in a video posted by his family as he watched an NBA game yesterday from his humble residence in Angeles, Pampanga.

To help dispel the rumors, another video was posted by the family showing Reyes playing billiards.

“Eto po ako, buhay na buhay (I’m alive),” a smiling Reyes, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association last year, said.

Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) officer Robert Mananquil was stunned with the news.

“Bata is okay. I just spoke to him on the phone. He said the same thing happened several years ago. Sanay na. Tawa ng tawa (He’s used to it. He was laughing),” Mananquil told The STAR.

“Malakas pa ako sa kalabaw (I’m stronger than a carabao),” Reyes told Mananquil.

Yes, the “Magician” is alive – and laughing.


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