Former PBA player Tristan Perez said he has no regrets after he gave up his professional basketball career to work as a truck driver in Canada.
Back in 2016, Tristan had a budding career as part of PBA’s Blackwater Elite. But he turned his back playing basketball to follow his wife in Canada in 2017.
Now, Tristan happily lives a peaceful life with his wife, Jhameel Pineda and two children in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He has been working as a driver for a 26-wheeler truck that transports petroleum to different companies. Tristan has been a driver for three years now.
Giving up his basketball career for a life in Canada
According to Tristan, he has no regrets giving up his dream to be with his family. He shared in a report by Rhea Santos for Omni Filipino, “Ganun talaga pag may pangarap ka. Minsan talaga merong isa sa inyong mag-asawa na may igi-give up para magkasama kayo.”
He explained that they chose a life in Canada because they are looking at a better future for their children. He said they will get to enjoy benefits and that thought puts his mind at ease.
“Mas pinili naming mag-Canada kasi andami ngang benefits na mabibigay sa future ng [mga] anak ko. Kumbaga, less worry lang sa future,” he added.
In a separate interview on Philippine Star, Tristan admitted it wasn’t an easy decision. They weighed the pros and cons of their options. They soon realized Canada offered a much better life for them.
Tristan recalled, “My wife was pregnant and it seemed that what I would be getting from a new life in Canada outweighed anything I might earn in the PBA—assuming I play long in the league.”
Since then, Tristan enjoyed their humble life in Canada. His wife also works as a driver of a school bus.
Being a truck driver
Tristan shares that while his job may seem risky, he actually enjoys it. He said that while his job is far from the career he had in the Philippines, he has found happiness in it too.
He said, “Andaming challenge, risky siya. Pero doon ako nag-e-enjoy, lalo na pag winter. Dumadaan kami sa iba’t ibang daan, bush road, ice road… tumatawid kami sa bridge na yelo.”
Words of advice
Like many Pinoy who chose a life abroad, Tristan’s said there’s no small or big job. At the end of the day, he said what matters is that you have a job that makes you feel fulfilled.
“Maliit o malaki man yung ginagawa mo, pero masaya ka sa ginagawa mo, iba yung feeling, e. Parang kumpleto yung araw mo,” Tristan said.