OVER 1,400 fans trooped to The Arena in San Juan to watch an elimination round match between Creamline and BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League on June 29. Of the throng of supporters from both sides, one man silently stood out.
And he was crying tears of joy as he finally saw his idol, Alyssa Valdez, play live.
“College pa lang si Alyssa, idol ko na siya," says Ricky Matrimonio. "Magaling talaga, bilib ako sa kanya. Para sa akin super girl siya. [Kaya ako naiyak] natutuwa ako na makita siya, sobrang tuwa. Sobrang saya at napaiyak ako na napansin niya ako.”
His daughter, Princess, recorded the touching moment that day, the 26th birthday of Valdez.
A few days later, she posted the video on her social media accounts not knowing it'd become viral and catch the attention of PVL Reinforced Conference MVP herself.
“Nagulat ako na after isa or dalawang oras nagtrending siya agad tapos napansin ni Alyssa,” said Princess.
On Saturday, Princess’ wish for her father to meet his idol finally came true.
Mozzy Ravena, PVL analyst, treated Ricky and Princess to courtside tickets for Game Two of the best-of-three finals between Creamline and Petro Gazz.
It was special for Princess to see her father, who had a stroke last year, share a moment with Valdez. Although she held back tears, Princess could not help but feel emotional, especially for her father, whom she considers her hero.
Ricky used to play volleyball when he was in high school at Carlos Albert High School. He worked as a fleet driver for ABS-CBN before he suffered from a stroke on December 16, 2018, a day after his birthday.
Valdez was naturally overwhelmed with happiness to experience the fans’ love for her.
“Wala ka naman ibang ginagawa, naglalaro ka lang naman ng volleyball, but you were able to touch ‘yung buhay din ni tatay,” said the three-time PVL MVP. “So maraming, maraming salamat kasi kung hindi dahil sa kanila hindi rin naman tayo patuloy na nagtatrabaho at naglalaro ng volleyball.
“Nakakatuwa buung-buo ‘yung pagmamahal kahit hindi naman kami magkadugo, hindi naman kami magkakakilala. Nakakataba ng puso yung pagmamahal nila.”