TEN years after officially hanging his playing jersey, Alvin Patrimonio, without a doubt, remains one of the most sought after personalities in the PBA.
Spin.ph recently witnessed an instance in a Quezon City restaurant where the 47-year-old cage great was mobbed by fans waiting to have his autograph and pictures taken with him.
Here's the video:
Patrimonio admitted mingling with fans and giving in to their request to have "a little moment with him" has become a regular part of his daily life long before he turned pro in 1988.
“Sanay na tayo sa lambing ng fans. Ilang dekada na rin. Nakakatuwa nga kasi, hindi nagbabago ang pagmamahal nila sa atin,” said Patrimonio, one of only two players to win the PBA's MVP award four times.
They Said It!
“Kahit late na late na ako. Hindi ko kailanman tinanggihan ang fans. Kasi wala naman ako kung wala sila." - retired PBA All Star Alvin Patrimonio
Patrimonio is also amazed that kids, some of them born after his retirement, also approach him for photo ops.
“Nagugulat din ako kasi may mga bata na lalapit sa akin at kilala pa ako. Pero tingin ko pasa-pasa na lang 'yun from their parents, tito or tita, o mga ate at kuya,” said the cager considered the face of the PBA during his 16-year playing career.
Asked about the secret of his lasting charisma, Patrimonio had a simple answer.
“Wala namang secret. Basta’t ipanatili mo lang gawin ang tama. Maging role model ka sa lahat, lalo na sa mga bata, hindi mawawala pagmamahal nila sa iyo,” said the basketball superstar, who is now team manager of San Mig Super Coffee.
Patrimonio, a native of Marbel, South Cotabato, couldn’t remember having turned down any fan who asked for either a photo or his signature.
“Hindi, kahit late na late na ako. Hindi ko kailanman tinanggihan ang fans. Kasi wala naman ako kung wala sila eh,” said Patrimonio, adding he normally allots extra time whenever he goes to public places.
“Basta, kung kunwari 12 ang meeting ko, tapos madadaan ako sa madaming tao, magdadagdag ako ng oras like one hour o two hours para di ma-late. Kung late na ko, pagbibigyan ko pa rin. Maiintindihan naman ng ka-meeting ko yun,” he added.
Nap Gutierrez, the former handler of Patrimonio, admitted the power forward’s habit of spending more time with the fans at the venue.
“Natural talaga kay Alvin ang maging mabait. Noong araw nga apat na oras yan sa Ultra after the game. Hindi umaalis, kasi nag-o-autograph,” recalled Gutierrez.
“Yan din `yung nakuha ni James Yap sa kanya. Yung pinagbibigyan lahat ng fans,” added the former showbiz columnist.
As for his message for the present crop of PBA players, Patrimonio said, “Yang mga fans, never natin i-di-disappoint. Kasi nag-e-effort sila na puntahan tayo. Yung autograph at picture, maliit na bagay lang 'yun sa atin, pero malaking bagay sa kanila.”
“Kaya dapat hindi natin ipagkait na ipakita sa kanila na mahal na mahal din natin sila,” said the soft-spoken member of the PBA’s 25 Greatest Players.