Rodman meets father in Manila after 42 yearsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines –Former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Dennis Rodman has been to the Philippines a couple of times, but Wednesday night was the most memorable trip of all.
The NBA Hall-of-Famer Rodman took a moment to acknowledge his father, Philander, whom he hasn’t seen in more than four decades before a sizeable crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena for the All-Star Basketball Challenge between select NBA legends and PBA Greats.
During a timeout with still 16 ticks to go, Rodman, 51, held the microphone and spoke to the crowd.
“I haven’t seen my father in 42 years, but that’s him sitting right there,” said Rodman, pointing to the patron section Arena where his father stood, waving to the crowd.
Philander, a Vietnam war veteran who has been residing in the Philippines since the 70s, was hard to miss in his red baseball cap with the words emblazoned on it: “Yes, Dennis Rodman is my son.”
Philander was also donning a t-shirt of “Rodman’s Rainbow Obamaburger” – his burger joint in Angeles City in Pampanga that sells rainbow-colored buns, reminiscent of his son’ psychedelic hairdo.
It wasn’t suprising for Rodman, though, to see his father on the stands as he said in the press conference Tuesday that “I’m gonna be glad if he shows up in the game.”
“I don’t hate my father. Everyone here knows that my father lives in this country. I don’t hate him,” he also said Tuesday.
Rodman, complete with ear and nose piercings, scored four points in the “US All-Stars” 112-93 victory over the legends of the PBA—a performance which rendered the spectators reminiscing 90′s basketball era.
“It’s an honor to be here in the Philippines, I’ve been here a couple of times,” said Rodman.
Philander, who has acknowledged fathering 29 children by 16 different mothers, told Associated Press he was happy and surprised that his son agreed to meet him late Wednesday. He tried to meet the basketball Hall of Famer during another game in Manila in 2006.
Philander has been living in the Philippines for nearly 50 years. He said on Thursday he wanted to explain to his son that he did not abandon his family in the United States, but they only had time for greetings and handshakes. With a report from The Associated Press