He was born and raised in Gubat, Sorsogon and is the eldest among the three siblings. His father was a family driver while his mother was a plain housewife. At a young age, he helped his grandmother sell balut, penoy, and other stuff. He finished his high school education in Sorsogon. As a kid, he was very thin and was being bullied, and as a way of escape, he focused his attention to basketball.
He was the seventh overall draft pick by Purefoods in 2008 before being traded to Burger King. He found his niche as a basketball player while playing for Coach Yeng Guiao's Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. He is also known as one half of Rain or Shine's Extra Rice, Inc. tandem, alongside JR Quiñahan, due to their size.