Dream come true as young artist dedicates artwork to living legend ‘Bata’ Reyes

Published January 16, 2021, 2:55 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photos courtesy of John Marko David Dadulo

It took three months of hard work and dedication for young artist John Marko David Dadulo to finish one of his masterpieces dedicated to a long-time sports idol.

Both Dadulo and no less than Filipino billiards legend Efren “Bata” Reyes were all smiles during a short meeting last Thursday for the turnover of the charcoal portrait made on 30 x 20 inches paper.

In one of his Facebook posts, Dadulo documented the meetup as he unveiled the artwork in front of Bata while “Hall of Fame” by The Script plays on the background.

For the 19-year-old Dadulo, it was indeed a dream come true of not only meeting his idol in person but also sharing a token of appreciation which he crafted from August to November last year.

“Bata pa lang po ako, idol ko na po si sir Efren,” Dadulo told Manila Bulletin in an online exchange Friday night. “Napahanga po ako sa parang magic na style niya sa laro at napaka-humble niyang tao. Siya po ‘yung taong walang haters.”

Dadulo himself used to play billiards at his grandparents’ house and having been exposed to the sport, even just for leisure, made him look up to the man known as “The Magician” himself, arguably the best pool player in Philippine sports history with multiple titles on the world stage.

Dadulo is also quite knowledgable about sports in general, suiting up as a freshman for the basketball varsity team at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Mexico, Pampanga.

But during his break, the aspiring architect continues to accept artwork commissions as a sideline not only to hone his skills but to help his family.

“Nagwo-working student po ako sa amin. Nagkokomisyon po kao ng mga paintings para po makatulong sa financial sa pamilya po namin lalo na po, college na po ako ngayon.”

Bata, for his part, is very much alive and well enjoying an NBA game as fake news of his death circulated on social media Saturday.