Pasay Voyagers’ Jesse Bustos knows that basketball is not forever, and someday he will hang his sneakers.
And for the 33-year-old forward — who played in 18 games during the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season — he needs to be ready for life after basketball as early as now.
And so in 2016, he began working as a photojournalist for broadsheet Philippine Star.
“Inisip ko hindi habang buhay maglalaro ako ng basketball kasi tumatanda rin, kaya nagpaturo na rin ako sa mga matatagal ng photographer sa Star.”
Little did the lensman know that he would be on the front line in the country’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented in Luzon last March, Manok ng Bayan Bustos has been assigned to cover events in Pasay, Taguig, and his hometown of Parañaque.
“Kailangan naming mga nasa media maging frontliner kasi trabaho eh. Kaya kapag nasa coverage, todo ingat na lang din,” said the 6-foot-3 forward.
“Pero masaya din in a way na nakakatulong din ako sa ibang tao na maiparating sa kanila kung ano ang nangyayari sa ating bansa.”
And when he comes home after his shift, Bustos makes sure to take precautionary measures to protect his loved ones.
“Sa sasakyan pa lang, nagpapalit na ako ng damit, kasi mahirap na kasi may mga anak ako. Ligo rin agad ako.”
Bustos helped the Voyagers reach the eighth seed in the Chooks-to-Go-backed Lakan Season. They were eliminated by San Juan-Go for Gold in the quarterfinals.
Story by Justin Valencia