Amazing Arwind Santos, from humble beginnings to PBA's 'Spider Man'

IMAGE @arwindsotnas on Instagram / Jun Pinzon for YES! Magazine's March 2005 issue

Arwind Santos on his basketball trophies: "Ito yung nagsasabi na kahit anong posisyon natin sa buhay natin, bakal-bote ka man o sobrang hirap ka man o mayaman ka, hindi yun imposible."


Arwind Santos is definitely one of this generation's greatest basketball players.

The 36-year-old San Miguel Beermen forward has received at least 45 recognitions in the sport since his days in University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) playing for Far Eastern University's basketball team and his short stint with the Philippine Basketball League (PBL).

And in his decade-long career with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Arwin has been accorded the title The Spider Man for his amazing play on the court.

But what makes this athlete truly exceptional is his humble attitude towards success and its perks.


The former FEU basketball player recently made headlines for driving around in a grey 2014 Ford Mustang GT.

The sports car was actually a gift from Dennis Villa-Ignacio, who stood as a sponsor at the wedding of Arwind and his wife, Ivette Iza Gavieres.

According to carmudi.com.ph, the list price for a second-hand 2014 Ford Mustang GT is at least PHP2 million.

Arwind told Karlo Sacamos of SPIN.ph in an interview that this and his other sports car—a Hyundai Veloster—are good reminders to stay grounded.

He told SPIN, "Lahat ng 'yan, bigay ng Diyos 'yan. Anytime, pwede yan mawala, kaya yung mga ganyan, dapat you know pa rin yung priority.

"'Pag nakakakita ng mga ganyang [sasakyan], yung mga nabili mo, nabibigay sa ’yo, nakaka-proud and then you feel blessed talaga.

"Pero kailangan lang huwag mong dadalhin sa utak mo na kala mo sino ka na, hindi ka na marunong tumingin sa pinanggalingan mo, makakalimot ka na."

Read: Arwind Santos drives around in Ford Mustang GT, yet never forgets where he came from


SIMPLE FAMILY BACKGROUND. In his hometown in Pampanga, Arwind had known what it was like to scrape for a living..

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He drove a pedicab in Lubao as the family breadwinner at the age of 20 when his father, Ernesto Santos, died of a heart attack in April 2001.

He disclosed his humble beginnings in the March 2005 issue of YES! magazine.

In 2002, Arwind was starting to get known for his prowess on the court.

At that time, he and his family lived in a resettlement area in Pundaqui, a town in Mexico, Pampanga.

In 2003, Arwind slowly started the renovation of the house left by their father.

He told YES!, "Kasi nung namatay ’yong tatay ko, naiwan ’tong bahay na maliit lang.

"Mga kuwarto dati, walang finishing sa loob.

"Tapos ’yong bubong may butas, pinasadahan ko. ’Yong labas pinaganda ko muna.

"Mabibigla ka na lang, gaganda pa 'yan."

With his mom Arceli (R)


With his brother Beo (midlle) and Armand


Arwind revealed he didn't feel any pressure as FEU's star player at that time.

Three years in UAAP competitions, "Wala na akong takot no’ong pumunta ako sa FEU," he told YES!

"Kasi lahat ng dapat ikatakot, nandito na sa Pampanga, sa mga dinanas ko noon.

"Doon, libreng pag-aaral, may kuwarto, may suweldo," he said, recalling his life as a varsity player.

"Ano’ng pressure ang mararamdaman ko? Kung kamatayan pa ’yon, puwede pa.

"Pero hindi, exposure ’yon e. Pangarap ko ’yon e."



Now, Arwind and Ivette, and their three kids, now live comfortably in a three-story house in Pasig City.

He told PTV Sports in 2014, "Pasig kasi, middle na ng Manila 'di ba? Malapit kung san kami may practice.

"Nung tumingin kami dito ng bahay, inabot kami ng tatlong buwan, e, kakahanap dito.

"Ito yung napili namin na komportableng komportable kami.

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"Minsan kasi pag pasok mo ng isang bahay, parang hindi ka komportable.

"Ito, feel namin ito."

An interesting feature of the family home is the attic, which contains Arwind's trophies and basketball memorabilia.


He told Kara David in an episode of Powerhouse in 2015 that the trophies inspire him to achieve his goals, both in his personal life and in his career.

He explained, "Ito yung nagsasabi na kahit anong posisyon natin sa buhay natin, bakal-bote ka man, o sobrang hirap ka man o mayaman ka, hindi yun imposible.

"Ang kahirapan, ano lang 'yan, magiging sakit 'yan. Nasa tao yan, pagka naging mahirap ka, kasalanan mo."


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