Monday, August 3, 2009

Efren Bata Reyes on Probe Profiles! Part 3!


CHE-CHE:
With regards to your winnings, what did you do with it?

EFREN:
I first bought a house, of course. Money prizes in billiards are not that big, in comparison to those won by our boxing idol, i.e., Manny Pacquiao. Imagine, our winnings in the sport pale in comparison to his! Not even 1% of Manny’s earnings from a single fight! I’ve been playing for 30 years, but the earnings I’ve earned from all those years doesn’t even compare to that earned by Manny Pacquiao in a single fight – not even 1%!

RUFINO REYES:
That is the first car that Efren bought.

CHE-CHE:
In Angeles City, Pampanga, one can see the fruits of Efren’s labor. Cars, real estate properties, e.g., apartments. According to Rufino, even when Efren was just starting to play, his younger brother would give away all his winnings, not ever thinking about himself.

RUFINO:
Efren will give all his winnings to our father. All of it! He doesn’t keep anything for himself. And when Efren needs money, he asks from our father. For example, our father would always give Efren money whenever one of my uncles fetches Efren for a money game match.

CHE-CHE:
Ronnie Nathanielsz is all praises for Efren in this regard.


RONNIE NATHANIELSZ:
He looks after all his relatives. He doesn’t give them money. He frowns at giving them money! He sends them to school. He helps them in their housing and food. But he never gives them money. He doesn’t like giving them money because for him that is spoiling. His thinking is, “You work for what you want, but I will help you.”

RUFINO REYES:
He asked us what we want to do with our lives, e.g., business. He gave all of us starting capital to put up our own respective businesses. With regards to my siblings, I don’t know, I guess they used it as a business capital. However, the businesses went bankrupt. I used mine to build a house for my kid.

CHE-CHE:
Besides his winnings from billiards tournaments and money-game matches, Efren’s fame and stardom has allowed him to also earn from commercials and motion pictures.

EFREN:
In 2003, I starred in the motion picture, “Pakners” with Fernando Poe Jr., the king of Filipino movies. I have received many offers to do a movie even before that, e.g., about six offers – the sixth was from Fernando Poe Jr.! I declined them all, saying that I am too shy to appear in such, thus, I cannot do it. Fernando Poe Jr is my idol, and that’s the only reason why I agreed to do a movie with him.

CHE-CHE:
All of Efren’s earnings go straight to his wife, Susan.

SUSAN REYES:
We have successfully acquired a number of properties, including real estate like apartments in Diamond – about eight properties. We also bought a farm – a farm in Porac, Pampanga.

CHE-CHE:
This used to be Susan’s role in Efren’s life when they were still childhood friends.

SUSAN REYES:
I was the one who initially suggested to him that he put his money in the bank, instead of letting it go to waste. You see, Efren just gives all his money away. That’s how he is. I suggested to him that I put his money in the bank for him. I put his money in the bank – starting with an initial deposit of, if I remember correctly, Php40,000.

Efren Bata Reyes ImageCHE-CHE:
Susan and Efren first met at the Lucky 13 pool hall in Manila, the pool hall where Efren started playing billiards.

SUSAN REYES:
I was a waitress then. On the 2nd floor of that building was the pool hall owned by his uncle. Efren doesn’t know how to court. He courts using his eyes – he just glances at me. He writes letters. He doesn’t even speak to me. He courts me through letters.

EFREN:
The pool hall was owned by one of my cousins. My cousin had a brother, who is the fiancĂ©e of Susan’s sister. We used to be their chaperone on dates.

CHE-CHE:
What happened then?


EFREN:
What happened was, it was Susan and I who successfully ended up with one another. The two we used to chaperone broke up in the end.

CHE-CHE:
Susan and Efren lived together and had two kids. They wer
e living together for almost 10 years when Efren decided to surprise Susan.

SUSAN REYES:

Three days after arriving from the US, Efren said, “Please accompany me. We are going somewhere - a Christening in Pasay City.”

We waited at the 2nd floor of the Pasay City Hall. And waited, still. I thought it was strange. Efren said it was a Christening but nobody was there.

Then the godfathers and godmothers started to arrive, as well as the guests. There was like 10 of us altogether there. Then, the one in charge of the ceremony also arrived. He said, “Shall we start with the wedding?”

I was dumbfounded! Was very much surprised! You see, it was like unthinkable because I was a single mother – I have two children from the first – and Efren was very much single. The thought that Efren would marry me never crossed my mind! I was really surprised! All I could do then was cry.

CHE-CHE (@5:00):
Efren and Susan have 3 kids and 3 grandchildren. Did anyone follow your footsteps?

EFREN:
None. My eldest – my son here.


CHE-CHE:
Oh! He’s here?


EFREN:
He is here. But all he knows is lose on the pool table!

CHE-CHE:
You didn’t teach him?

EFREN:
He doesn’t want me to teach him. I tried to, but he doesn’t want me to do so.

FRENNIE REYES:
People might think that I’m good as my father. But no. I bec
ome nervous on the pool table! He tried teaching me, of course. However, he thinks that I should have started young if I really wanted to be good in billiards. I’m 26 years old now, and will have a difficult time becoming good in the sport.

CHE-CHE:

In his heyday, Efren was usually out of the house when the kids were growing up, e.g., tournaments, matches, commitments, and travels. Thus, Efren would miss a number of important events in the kids’ lives. This deeply saddened Efren’s youngest – Cielo.

CIELO REYES:
There were times, e.g., events, that he wasn’t there, which I would have very much liked to have him. He was always busy with his work. Like simple events in school wherein I would perform, it would have been great if he had been there. To watch us. To be with us. However, he could not make it.


SUSAN REYES:
I used to say to him, “You’re kids don’t know you. I’m the only one with them. You’re always out of the house.” The kids weren’t that close to Efren when they were still little, unlike now.

CHE-CHE:
Efren understands this. He understands them.


EFREN:
My family knows that my life – billiards - it’s all about tournaments. My son here always accompanies me whenever I play. Why so? He is always waiting for someth
ing. :)

CHE-CHE:
Susan is nervous whenever Efren plays. Always. That is why she seldom accompanies Efren in his matches. According to Efren, he feels his wife’s nervousness whenever he plays.

For Susan, Efren’s win in 1999 in Cardiff, Wales, was the most unforgettable – the most memorable - of all.

SUSAN REYES:
That is where he became famous! We were all very happy! We are all jumping with glee!

CHE-CHE:
This is the very first billiards tournament to be broadcast all over the world.


RONNIE NATHANIELSZ:
Filipinos stayed up till 3 to 4 in the morning to watch him play. We covered it here. But he just mauled the Chinese-Taipei guy! He just played with him!

CHE-CHE:
According to Nathanielsz, Efren’s win in Cardiff changed Efren’s life and the image of billiards in the Philippines forever.


NATHANIELSZ:
He won the championship in 1999. And that’s when pool or billiards caught a boom in the Philippines. Within weeks, billiards halls were sprouting up all over Tomas Morato - all over the country – like the basketball courts in every street corner.

SUSUNOD: CONTINUATION





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