Benjie Paras is Venancio Johnson Paras Jr., which was born on October 2, 1968, a Filipino professional basketball player and had just awarded a Hall of Fame status by the Philippine Basketball Association. He is also a character and a comedy actor. Benjie Paras is the only PBA to win the “Rookie of the Year” and the “Most Valuable Player” honors in 1989 in a single season. He was married to Jaclyn Forster and they had two children.
Aside from being a PBA player he has also appeared in various films and TV shows such as “Narito Ang Puso Ko,” in a comedy show “Lagot ka, isusumbong Kita,” also in “Encantadia,” all in the GMA 7 network. Benjie is also a host, working as a co-host in ABC TV5 local version of “Guinness Book of Records.” He had also played a role in Lupin and Fanastic Man. He also starred in “Resiklo,” in 2007 opposite Ramon Bong Revilla, an entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival.
He had also hosted in the game show in TV5 entitled ‘Winwinwin.” Benjie had also starred in “Kamandag,’”and “Adik Sa Yo,” together with Marvin Agustin and Jolina Magdangal. He had also worked with the champion boxer Manny Pacquiao in the TV show “Show Me DA Manny.” In the “Last Prince,” Benjie played a villain. He was also a part of the cast in the show “Yaman Ni Lola.” Benjie was also included in “Bantatay,” and in “Spooky Nights Presents: The Ringtone.” His 4th telefantaserye was in “Alice Bungisngis and Her Wonder Walis,” also in TV5.
Benjie Paras was also seen in some movies like “Iskul Bukol: The Reunion,” and appeared in “My Only U,” with Vhong Navarro. In a 2012 drama teleserye entitled “One True Love,” he also starred with Alden Richards and Louise delos Reyes.
After the controversial separation from his ex-wife Jackie Forster, Benjie had married Lyxen Diomampo, a commercial model and a preschool teacher, and had two sons namely Riley and Sam. His other two sons by Jackie are Andre and Kobe are also gradually starting their basketball career since grade school. They are currently enrolled in De La Salle University and playing on the high school team.
Benjie Paras welcomes the idea that one day soon his sons might join showbiz industry. Whatever his son’s decisions will be, he said he is ready to support them. He also said that if their schedules are okay, he might allow them to do some showbiz works, but of course school is still the priority over anything else. His sons are also keen on being a professional basketball player someday. Everything will all depend when the right time comes. Benjie also teaches his sons the value of being humble and friendly. Whatever and wherever their dreams bring them, Benjie says, they will be in contact with people, so it really pays to always put their feet on the ground, the PBA Hall of Famer advices.
He is now happy and lives a peaceful, quiet life with his wife and four children. He may be a comedian but in real life, he is seriously being a father and a friend, always taking the responsibility he is tasked with.
Venancio Johnson Paras Jr. better known as Benjie Paras, is a Filipino actor, comedian, and a retired professional basketball player who played for Shell Turbo Chargers and San Miguel Beermen of the PBA.
In 1990, Benjie Paras would lead Shell to their first Open Conference title by defeating Anejo Rhum in a championship series that finished in 6 games, the climax featured a walkout by Anejo players. In 1991, Shell and Ginebra would meet again in the Finals of the Reinforced Conference. Paras and the Turbo Chargers seemed poised to beat the Gins once again after taking a commanding 3-1 lead, but the Gins made a dramatic rally and coming back from the 3-1 deficit and winning the title in a classic Game 7 encounter that featured Rudy Distrito’s game winner.
Paras was also selected to play in the 1990 Asian Games Basketball Team that won the silver medal, but the team came up short against China in the gold-medal match.
In 1992, Benjie Paras and the rejuvenated Turbo Chargers, now with Leo Isaac and Rey Cuenco, led Shell to another title, winning it over the San Miguel Beermen. After the 1992 title, Paras and Shell would show inconsistencies as it flirted to the cellars in several occasions. This was also capped with a controversy back in 1993 when Paras sat out for one conference after a contract dispute with Shell that prompted him to demand a trade deal to rival team Anejo Rhum.
But after Shell rejected trade offers for their prized center, he decided to concentrate on his movie and TV career. After Paras came back to the team in the 1993 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the team never made it back to the Finals until the 1996 Commissioner’s Cup, thanks in part to import Kenny Redfield and supporting casts such as Peter Naron, Richie Ticzon, Victor Pablo, and Jojo Lim.
In 1999, Paras dominated the Filipino-American laden PBA by leading Shell to another Finals appearance, this time against Tanduay Rhum Makers bannered by Fil-Am Eric Menk and the deported Sonny Alvarado. Paras held his own against the two taller, stronger and more athletic Fil-Ams as he led Shell to another title winning it 4-2. That would be Paras’ last title, as his team was unable to stop the San Miguel Beermen in the title showdown for the Commissioner’s Cup. Paras would win his 2nd MVP since 1989.