FROM HARDCOURT STAR TO CITY COUNCIL STALWART
Cebu City Councilor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros is one city councilor who can lay claim to being a household name all over the country.
By Fraulein Olavario
PHOTOGRAPHY BY EZEKIEL SULLANO
MAKING THE JUMP
Hontiveros was courted by politicians in Cebu upon learning about his retirement from professional basketball in 2018. But true to his personality, the 45-year-old baller chose the group that gave him a clear and
defined role within the team.
“Two parties here in Cebu City approached me for a meeting. I have friends from both parties, but I decided to align myself with Mayor Mike Rama because we already had an existing connection. I was also told that, ‘Dondon, we want you to be part of our group. We’ll put you in charge of youth and sports. We don’t want you to
be a politician.’ Those were the exact words coming from them. ‘We want you to be yourself. You have connections with the youth and sports, and you can help us,’” says Hontiveros of his first run as city councilor
under the banner of Partido Barug in 2019.
The decision to make the jump from the hardcourt to the session hall stemmed from Hontiveros’ values, which he learned from his parents, who were both law enforcers. Arturo and Ludivina Hontiveros had taught
their son that for one to be able to say that he had truly served, he must have done something for people who cannot give anything in return.
When Hontiveros started earning, he made it a point to set aside money for outreach programs. He would prepare school supplies for children left behind by parents undergoing drug rehabilitation. He would pay an occasional visit to minor offenders; conduct basketball training camps for kids to teach them the values of
accountability, teamwork, and discipline; and lead tree-planting activities to instill awareness of environmental issues among the youth; and .....