May 29, 2024

Living by her code, San Miguel star and PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo continues to honor his mother’s memory

Living by her code, San Miguel star and PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo continues to honor his mother’s memory
June Mar Fajardo received his accolades with his parents during the 2020 PBA Leo Awards. Photo (c) PBA

In a physical sport where emotions can run high and fights can ensue night in and night out, it’s certainly tough to show restraint in the heat of the moment.

It’s even tougher to do that consistently since day one. But that’s exactly the case for San Miguel star center June Mar Fajardo.

Whether inside or outside the hardwood floor, there’s always a familiar and calming voice that tells the PBA superstar to take a deep breath, walk on, and continue playing even when the situation calls for the opposite.

The voice belongs to June Mar's mother, Marites.

“Lagi sinasabi sakin ng mama ko na umiwas sa gulo, wag makipag-away, at magpakabait lagi,” said the self-confessed mama’s boy.

“Yun yung mga simple lang na mga words na sinabi sakin ng mama ko pero tumatak sakin. Eto ako ngayon dahil to sa mama ko.”

 

His mother's words have always kept June Mar in check. Since first holding a basketball in Cebu almost two decades ago, Fajardo has always made sure to side step past brawls or anything of that nature.

And Fajardo has been been tested on many occasions, but refused to give in each time. There was even a critical moment when most of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan wanted him to brandish his 6-foot-10 frame, but decided to keep his cool and help de-escalate the situation.

Remember the Gilas-Australia brawl in 2018? When even a usually-composed Jayson Castro lost it and threw a flying punch punch at Daniel Kickert to protect his Gilas brother RR Pogoy, in what turned out to be one of the ugliest events in Philippine basketball?

Fajardo — along with Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer — opted not to join the fray that led to suspensions and hefty fines. June Mar's incredible show of restraint was one shining moment in an otherwise dark time of Gilas hoops.

“Tina-try ko best ko na hindi magpadala sa emosyon. Kasi mahirap pag makipag-away ka. For sure magsisisi ka hanggang huli,” he said. 

“Kung pwede umiwas, iwas na lang. Hindi lahat ng bagay nadadaan sa away. Pwede naman pag usapan.”

Nearly three years after Marites passed away due to COVID-19, Abai continues to live by his mom’s constant reminders by staying away staying away from fights and shying away from anything that could lead to that.

Now as the nation celebrates Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12, Fajardo honors the memory of Marites, who he described as “mapagbigay, mapagmahal, and matulungin.”

“Mapagbigay. Mapagmahal, sobra. Grabe magmahal mama ko,” he said when asked to describe his mother.

“Matulungin mama ko, yun yung word. Pag may nangangailangan, kung ano man maitulong ng mama ko never sya nag-hesitate na tumutlong. Yun yung mama ko.”

Like his mom, Fajardo is also known for many great things, among them being a seven-time MVP and 10-time PBA champion.

But he is most proud of being a mama’s boy.