A native of Tuguegarao, Cagayan, the 31-year-oldRomel Adducul found his niche early in life: playing basketball.
"Na-realizeko no'ng high school, in terms of basketball or anumangsports, advantage pag matangkad," Romelrecalls."Kaya, after fourth year ko nghigh school, na-appreciateko 'yong katangkaran ko dahil nga may potential akong makapag-PBA. At kaya madaliakong nakuha sa college, dahil saheight ko."
College meant playing for the San SebastianStags, and in 1997, he played a major role in his school's win as NationalCollegiate Athletic Association champion. After that successful NCAA stint, hewent on to play for the short-lived Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA),before moving to the Philippine Basketball League (PBL).
Now part of the San Miguel Beer team in thePhilippine Basketball Association (PBA), Romel has been active for 10 years inthe sport that he loves. Sports journalists have even given him the moniker"The General," because he has often led his teammates to victory.
"Nag-start'yon no'ng MBA pa," Romel explains. "Kasi, Iremember, meronyatang youngest general in Germany, si Rommel."
The reference is to Germany's famed World War IIgeneral, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, also known as "The Desert Fox."
Despite having suffered a few minor setbacks—hehad to undergo a major operation early last year to repair a problem with hisright foot—Romel still feels blessed by God, especially with all that he hasachieved.
"Nagpapasalamatnga ako dahil bini-bless Niya ako," he says. "Atthe same time, ginagamitNiya ako to bless other people also." Romel, who attendschurch at the Victory Christian Fellowship, says he has noticed a major changein his personality since he accepted God into his life.
"No'ng MBAdays ko,may nag-reach-out sa team namin. Na-amaze ako saexplanation nilana si God namatay dahil sa atin, sa pagmamahal Niya sa atin. E,it's easy to sin. 'Tapos, sometimes pag maytemptation, hindiko siya nare-resist. 'Tapos, sa court masyado akong mainit ang ulo.No'ng naging Kristiyano ako, nag-iba lahat. Nagkaroon ng direksiyon anglife ko."
That direction he's talking about can be seen inthe way he is taking care of his family and managing his finances and otherinvestments. Romel is realistic enough to admit that he is not getting anyyounger and that, at his age, he must think of ventures other than basketballto secure his future.
"Actually, at 35, medyo pababa na 'yongcareer mono'n. Kaya dapat siguro prine-prepare mo na 'yong sarili mo. Marami akongnaiisip na business. Kaso lang, for the meantime, hindi ko pa kayang gawin, kasikailangang matutukan. Mahirap 'yan, e.
"At the same time, siguro massafe 'yongsa province namin bumibili ako ng mga lupa. Marami akong nabili naproperties, puroland lang.'Yong iba, pang-agricultural. Do'n nanggaling 'yong palay. Hindi na nga akobumibili ng bigas, may supply na ako."
There's one other thing Romelis proud of—his new home in Parañaque. Here, he tried a new role for a change,as interior designer! Keeping in mind what he likes best—wooden furniture, thatis—Romel decided to be more hands-on when he furnished his new home. He's eventhinking of going back to school just to take up interior design.
"Kaso lang, sabi nila pang-bading daw 'yon! Pambabae!" Romel says with a laugh, adding, "Nagkamaliyata ako ng course no'ng college, e. Ewan ko kung bakit mas gustoko minsan nagdo-drawing. Minsan may idea akongnaiisip. Minsan drino-drawing ko na siya."
Romel took up business administration at SanSebastian College and graduated in 2003. But running a business is not thestuff of his dreams right now. Guess what this giant of man wants to do?
"Someday gusto kotalaga mag-build ng bahay ko. Kasinever pa akong gumawa ng bahay na sarili ko. Kasi 'yong mganabibili ko, house and lot na. Dream ko one day na makapag-build ako ng bahay natalagang dinesayn ko talaga."
It may not be long beforethis focused and driven General achieves that goal, too.