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[Father's Day] The 'Point Laureate'

MANILA, Philippines - It’s 5:20 AM. As I wake, I hear the gates open and the engine start as Coach Ronnie Magsanoc (but to me he is simply Papa) goes off to begin his very long day. 

First in his routine is his 6:00 AM practice with the San Beda Red Lions, where he is the head coach. The 88th season of the NCAA is fast approaching. From Mendiola, he travels to Ortigas for his second practice of the day with the Meralco Bolts. 

By this time, it is nearing lunch. 

One of the things I love most about Papa is his appreciation for home and hearth. Despite his dizzying schedule, he always finds a way to make it for an afternoon meal for just a brief respite before heading to the PBA D-League venues or to the AKTV center to cover games. 

He never goes into a coverage unprepared, and that is how he approaches all things in life. He even makes fun of himself when he sees himself on television! He’s a versatile athlete and challenges himself to cover the sport he has played all his life.  

During dinner time, he is always happier when we eat as a family. He never fails to listen to us when we share about our day; and even though I know he is tired, his humor is never failing and always sharp. This is the time when I see my dad truly relax and just enjoy being with all of us.  

Growing up with Papa, I saw how basketball has been his way of giving us a great life. 

From the moment he was in grade school, he played for the San Beda team until his high school years. He then played for the University of the Philippines which succeeded in winning the championship in 1986.  

HURRAH, THE OUTSTANDING STUDENT! Papa makes time for school activities despite his busy schedule.

HURRAH, THE OUTSTANDING STUDENT! Papa makes time for school activities despite his busy schedule.

I’m proud to say that he passed the UPCAT before becoming a collegiate player, and that’s saying something because even he couldn’t believe that he passed that challenging entrance exam. He toiled for his degree, and after 5 years graduated with a degree in Philosophy which has been helping him as a father and coach.  

He entered the Philippine Basketball Association in 1988, and was given the moniker, “The Point Laureate.” He loved what he did, and it showed all throughout his career. 

When being praised for his effort and skill, my dad would just smile and humbly shake his head. Some have mistaken this as a sign of being suplado (snobbish), and my mom has encouraged him to reach out more to his fans, be more personable to them. He’s not one to draw attention to himself.  

Papa Ron and Mama Bing never failed to emphasize the importance of excellent education, and encouraged all of their children to be the best students they can be.  I must say that they’ve done a pretty excellent job because my youngest sister, Trina, was an outstanding student in her grade school years in Saint Pedro Poveda College; my second sister, Mika, has been a consistent Dean’s Lister in DLSU-M; and I graduated Cum Laude from La Salle as well.  

I believe Papa looks towards life the same way he looks at basketball.

He acknowledges that there will always be challenges we all have to face, and he won’t win all the time. He doesn’t like to lose but knows that, to achieve something great, those setbacks will teach him to find ways on how to improve as a holistic, God-fearing man. He treats everyone with respect, granted that they show the same to him.  

HE ALWAYS MAKES TIME for family. And for that, we will always be grateful.

HE ALWAYS MAKES TIME for family. And for that, we will always be grateful.

On this day for fathers, I’m so lucky to have a family like ours, and to have a dad who is never far from our side. A dad who shows us that with hard work and determination, we can have everything we dream of, and more.

So before I have to get a tissue, I will end with a simple and heartfelt “Thank you, I’m so proud of you and I love you, Pa.” - Rappler.com

Click on the links below for more father's day stories.