JR Gallarza: A Father First

Tricia Robredo on Aug 31, 2015 11:48 AM
JR Gallarza: A Father First
“Basketball in the Philippines has led me to have a son in the first place so I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I don’t know what I’d be without my son and basketball.” --- JR Gallarza

If you’ve been following JR Gallarza on social media, then you’ve probably seen and heard of his adorable two-year old Reinen. If you don’t or if you haven’t yet, I advise that you do because kagigil that kid please!

In all seriousness though, the little boy is a charmer and he really radiates positive energy. And I’m speaking as a random stranger, who is in no way related to him. One could only imagine how much of a bundle of joy Reinen is to his family.

Now let’s focus on JR – the proud dad, the UP Fighting Maroons’ captain and a candidate for graduating with Latin honors. (Just when you think that all athletes do is play, huh?) I wasn’t a part of a varsity team in college nor did I have responsibilities as big as his, but passing my subjects alone was already a struggle. So when we found out about him, we wondered how he’s able to balance it all.

“I like to use my kid as my motivation to get through everything. It’s important for me to get that diploma for him,” said JR. (So I guess we’re back to talking about Reinen again.) “In my head, both my parents are full-time parents back home to my son and they’re also full-time workers. So to me, I feel like if they can handle a schedule like that then I could do it, too.”

While the fifth year baller is out here in the Philippines to finish his studies, he made the decision to have his son stay back home in Canada, where his parents could take better care of him. Being away from Reinen, however, is a lot more difficult than managing everything he does.

“It terrible. It’s the hardest thing I ever had to go through in my life emotionally. Like the homesickness just quadrupled when my son came. ”

Worried that his son might eventually drift away because of the distance that separates them now, JR’s been all means to constantly keep in touch with him – call, Skype, Facetime during breaks.

But in a few days, Reinen will be flying over to the Philippines, and we (as in the social media followers) will be witnessing a father and son reunion. Just in time for the season, too!

Season 78 is supposed to be JR Gallarza’s final playing year, but he just recently found out that he has one more after this one. Whether or not he’ll be back for 79 is something he hasn’t really thought about, but his plans after college ball are crystal clear. The main thing is graduating and being with Reinen full time.

“If pursuing professional basketball is an option, then I would definitely do everything in my power to fly my son out here with me to pursue that. I have a solid plan for that if everything goes through. If not, I’ll get my diploma, fly home and be a full-time dad and just become a working class citizen.”

“Basketball in the Philippines has led me to have a son in the first place so I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I don’t know what I’d be without my son and basketball.”

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