Matthew Manotoc looking to make move from field of sports to political arena
“I hope they see me as someone who emphasizes the youth, sports and entrepreneurship. Those are the three things I want to focus on,” says Matthew Manotoc.  

MATTHEW Manotoc looks to enter a new field from sports to public service.

“I never foresaw it (entering politics), I have always told people, I will never do it, but it just presented itself,” said Manotoc in a chat with Spin.ph.

Son of former Crispa Redmanizers coach Tommy Manotoc and grandson of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Matthew Manotoc is not transitioning from the playing field to the political arena. While more athletes are entering public service, Manotoc has been working in sports more behind the scenes, a partner of an emerging sports management company that handles some of the top pro local athletes.

“I enjoy sports but temporarily, I want to help a lot people and learn about local government and interacting with public and private realms, it’s a unique educational and community oriented opportunity,” he added while revealing that grassroots development will be one of his major platforms when elected as Ilocos Norte board member.

Matt believes he is more like his father, who is one of the most vocal and well recognizable sports personalities in the country for decades.

“I am running as Matthew Manotoc Marcos, my lola (Imelda Marcos) said it’s too long of a name, she said to drop the Manotoc, and I said: ‘I can’t drop the Manotoc, what will my dad say?’” he said.

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“My lola is not pushy, she was just thinking of how it would look in the ballot, she said: ‘Oh, it’s too long. Maybe they won’t see the Marcos’, coz Marcos to her is very important. But I value both my names and both my parents and both my families so I don’t want to sacrifice either,” he said.

Matt said wanted to introduce himself as a Manotoc in the Ilocos.

“I guess to a certain degree, being a Manotoc lessens how Marcos I am. I am both and perhaps a lot of people know my dad and my dad married my mom. I don’t see it as a drawback,” said the UCLA sports management graduate.

Manotoc shared that he has dad’s passion for sports, while he carries his mother’s ‘inherent interest in politics.’

“I really feel like I inherited much of my dad’s personality, the interest in sports. I can talk and live and work in basketball all day long and after working, go home and turn on the NBA. I also grew up playing competitive golf. I am more Manotoc,” he said.

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“But of course, I am both. Sometimes, you think you’re one then you see the other. But most will agree that I got my mom’s ‘down-to-earth’ persona. My mom taught us well, she’s very humble in that sense, she won’t go around and say ‘I am this, I am that,” he said.

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Manotoc has been a player agent for the past five years, co-owner of the Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management with the son of legendary PBA talent manager Danny Espiritu.

Under EMBM, Manotoc handles the careers of top PBA players like Japeth Aguilar, Chris Lutz, Marcio Lassiter, Yousef Taha, Jason Deutschman, James Foorester, Prince Caperal, Kyle Pascual, Aljon Mariano, Norbert Torres, JP Erram and Mike DeGregorio among others.

“We have around 15 guys within four drafts, not bad, coz every year we get four guys to get a contract,” he said.

Manotoc bared that when elected, he would prioritize the uplifting of lives of Ilocanos through sports and different business opportunities.

“I hope they see me as someone who emphasizes the youth, sports and entrepreneurship. Those are the three things I want to focus on,” said Manotoc.

“Those are the two facets we also encourage our players, micro-wise in the PBA. We not only tell our players to play and earn, we also persuade them to live better lives and foresee the future that lies ahead after basketball,” he said.

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“This way, I would want our kababayans in Ilocos to not just aspire to make it big in sports and other careers, but to work harder and aide them in making life better,” he said.

“We don’t take anything for granted. Yes obviously, we have a certain amount of influence, but it’s not something we take for granted,” he said.

“It’s a reciprocal relationship, they seem to love us, so we have to return it. It’s really a two-way street, I see that with my mom and she’s very hands-on,” he said.

“Ilokanos are very loyal to us and in return we want to be loyal to them,” said Manotoc, a psychology degree holder from Claremont MCKenna College in California.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua