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    Alyssa Valdez, national teammates reveal more about selves in slumbook-style Q & A

    May 28, 2015

    GET to know more about the members of the Philippine women’s volleyball team bound for the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore as they answer this slum book-style questionnaire from Spin.ph.

    Find out what’s the nickname of superstar Alyssa Valdez (it's not Baldo), Aby Marano’s ultimate crush, Jaja Santiago’s childhood dream, or even Gretchen Soltones’ unforgettable experience in school.

    Read on.

    Name: Alyssa Valdez

    Nickname: Ineng

    Hometown: San Juan, Batangas

    Birthdate: June 29, 1993

    Zodiac sign: Cancer

    School: Ateneo de Manila University

    Childhood dream: To be a teacher.

    If you’re not a volleyball player what will you be doing now? Student. Kung hindi ako nagvo-volleyball, feeling ko sobrang anti-social ako, student lang.

    Perks of being a player? I got to meet a lot of people, not only volleyball related ones. Siyempre free ka sa volleyball games, madami kang sisters.

    Most memorable experience with fans? Everytime naman, even the little things na ginagawa nila it’s really memorable. ‘Yung mga binibigay nila, neg-e-effort sila sa mga banners, pag naghihintay sila after the game, nagbibigay ng notes. The most na nabibigay ng fans is ‘yung time and effort nila and money na rin to buy the tickets and all the sacrifices nila para makanood ng games namin.

    Favorite song? Gusto ko ‘yung Little Things ng One Direction.

    Favorite food? Lahat, except sa mga sobrang maaanghang. ‘Yung mga Thai na food di ba maanghang ‘yun so pag nagpupunta kami doon nagpapabawas ako ng anghang.

    Unforgettable experience in school? Nakatapos kami ng thesis. Maiiyak ka talaga. Hahaha! Tapos ‘yung nag-present kami infront of our batch for our thesis kasi parang, ‘Wow, this is it.' Pag nagawa mo na ang thesis, parang wala ka nang ibang subject. Hahaha!

    Continue reading below ↓

    Tapos siguro ‘yung nagpunta kami sa jail, for our thesis pumunta kami ng Muntinlupa. Na-meet namin ‘yung mga inmates doon sobrang bait nila.

    Who is your crush? Piolo Pascual, Bradley Cooper

    What is love? Love is a choice. Sa Theo (Theology) class namin ‘yun. Everytime that you wake up naman iba naman ang mafi-feel mo. Sabi nga nila, the only constant lang is change. But if you choose to love that person, it’s love.

    Message to your fans: Thank you. The word thank you will never be enough para maging grateful the volleyball players are today. Kasi without them talaga, wala rin naman tayo dito, hindi tayo nag-iinterview, hindi tayo nagti-training.

    I mean, we train and we compete but it’s not as exciting, as fun na nangyayari ngayon eh. Kasi everyone’s aware and everyone’s involved sa game eh and it’s more fun and more entertaining pag ganoon ang nangyayari eh. All we can say is thank you lang and sana ma-appreciate nila 'yung mga ginagawa ng mga players and sana lahat we learn to appreciate everything siguro.

    And as one of the players na sinusuportahan nila, I really admire ‘yung effort nila just to show yung admiration nila sa isang player. Sana magtuluy-tuloy lang, lalo na sa darating na SEA Games. Sana hindi lang volleyball ang suportahan natin, sana lahat ng sports suportahan.

    Name: Abigail Marano

    Nickname: Ging-ging

    Birthdate: December 22, 1992

    Zodiac sign: Capricorn

    Hometown: Antipolo

    School: De La Salle University

    Childhood dream: To be a director. Mahilig kasi ako gumawa ng mga short films, short stories.

    Continue reading below ↓

    If you’re not a volleyball player what will you be doing now? Baka nasa production ako, floor manager.

    Perks of being a volleyball player? Simula sa values, pagiging disiplinado, magaling makisama sa mga tao, very flexible kasi team ang kasama mo different personalities ang makakasama mo. Tapos you can also go to a college na maganda ang estado kasi through your talent makukuha ka ng mga schools to play and makakapagtapos ka (ng pag-aaral) ng libre. It’s like playing for your tuition fee and proving your worth as an athlete.

    Most memorable experience with fans? Sa ‘Team Aby’ sobrang thankful ako sa kanila. Una, birthday ko nag-prepare sila ng surprise as in kinontact nila si Robert (Bolick), si Mama, tsaka si kuya. Hindi ko alam kung saan kami pupunta ‘yun pala may birthday party sila for me. Tapos pumunta kami sa Enchanted Kingdom, naka-bonding ko silang lahat.

    Favorite song? Madami akong favorite song pero ngayong recent, Blank Space by Taylor Swift.

    Unforgettable experience in school? Umiyak ako sa Philosophy class ko. Kasi meron kaming sharing Wednesday, sobrang pagod ko sa training, stress ako sa volleyball, lahat ng frustrations ko doon ko na share. Sobrang na-enlighten ako sa mga motivation ng prof ko na si sir Mark Racela.

    Who is your crush? Grant Gustin ng The Flash kamukha niya si Robert (Bolikc). Charot. Hahaha! Noong pinakita ko nga kay Robert sabi ko, 'Babe crush ko to kasi kamukha mo.' Kasi pag hindi, may elbow tayo dyan. Hahaha!

    What is love? It’s a feeling of two people very comfortable with each other, and I think in every relationship, it’s the constancy and consistency that sustain the relationship. Love is everything, it’s like magic, it’s very powerful.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Message to your fans: Sobrang thankful ako na lagi pa rin kayong sumusuporta kahit hindi na ako naglalaro sa La Salle, very supportive kayo. Nagpo-post sila ng pictures na sobrang tagal na four years ago na ‘yung mga pictures ko kahit hindi ako maganda doon sinasabi pa rin nila na maganda ako doon. Hahaha! I love you all!

    Hindi lang nila alam kung paano nila ako namo-motivate sa mga maliliit na bagay. ‘Yung mga messages nila akala nila hindi ko nababasa pero binabasa ko talaga ‘yun as in tyina-tyaga ko ‘yun kasi alam kong doon ako makakakuha ng motivation pag hindi na ako naniniwala sa kaya kong gawin. Dahil doon nagpu-push pa rin ako kasi alam kong andyan sila naniniwala. Tsaka sorry din sa ibang hindi ko mareplyan kasi mga fans parating ano umaasa rin na mareplyan mo sila one day. Pero ‘yun nga siguro hindi man mareplyan or what pero makita lang nila na naabot namin ‘yung expectation nila sa amin through our A game, siguro enough na ‘yun para mabigyang hustisya ang effort nila through playing our best lang.

    Name: Alyja Daphne Santiago

    Nickname: Jaja, Jajing

    Birthdate: January 20, 1996

    Zodiac sign: Aquarius

    Hometown: Cavite

    School: National University

    Childhood dream: To be a doctor

    If you’re not a volleyball player, what will you be doing now? Normal na estudyante lang.

    Perks of being a volleyball player? Scholarship, bibigyan ka nila ng magandang opportunity so makakatulong ka sa family mo. Madali kang makahanap ng friends - and boyfriend. Joke!

    Most memorable experience with fans? Nag-video greet sa akin si Elmo Magalona and si Julie Anne San Jose noong birthday ko last year. Noong 18th birthday ko dahil sa isa kong fan na taga-Romblon.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Favorite song? Flashlight

    Favorite food? Sinigang na baboy na maasim.

    Unforgettable experience in school? First day ko sa college, pagpasok ko sa isang room as in lahat sila nakatingin sa akin. Tapos umiinom pa ako ng gatas. Tapos pag upo ko nagtanong ‘yung classmate ko kung doon daw ba akong room, kung doon daw ba ang subject ko. Binara ko siya, sabi ko baka hindi dito, baka sa kabila. Tapos tumayo ako tapos umupo ako ulit. Nagtawanan silang lahat kasi binara ko ‘yung kaklase ko.  

    Who is your crush? Elmo Magalona, Enrique Gil

    What is love? Love is a choice.

    Message to your fans: Thank you kasi sinusuportahan nila ako, 'yung team namin. Thank you kasi pumupunta sila sa games ko.

    Name: Gretcel Soltones

    Nickname: Noong sobrang taba ko pa, Siopao. Pero noong bata ako, Koreana. Sa mga side ng Mama ko, Gret-Gret ako, sa side ng Papa ko, Inday.

    Birthdate: September 5, 1995

    Zodiac sign: Virgo

    Hometown: Catmon, Cebu

    School: San Sebastian College Recoletos

    Childhood dream: Maging stable kami sa family ko, ‘yung hindi mahihirapan ang family ko.

    If you’re not a volleyball player what will you be doing now? Nangingisda

    Perks of being a volleyball player? Scholarship

    Most memorable experience with fans? Chini-cheer ka lang nila tapos may binibigay sila sayo after game.

    Favorite song? ‘Yung Brave ‘yun eh, ‘yung “I wanna see you be brave say what you want to say…”

    Favorite food? Seafoods

    Unforgettable experience in school? Kumanta ako sa harap ng klase, first year college parang project siya.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Who is your crush? Hahaha! Alam naman ng mga fans ‘yun pero, si ano, Liza Soberano.

    What is love? Hindi mo ma-explain just feel it. Naks! Hahaha!

    Message to your fans: Thank you po sa suporta niyo sa Team PLDT and sa Team Pilipinas at saka sa Baste. Support lang po parati and thank you po sa tiwala.

    Name: Julia Melissa Morado

    Nickname: Jia

    Hometown: Paranaque

    Birthday: May 10, 1995

    Zodiac sign: Taurus

    School: Ateneo de Manila University

    Childhood dream: To be a doctor

    If you’re not a volleyball player what will you be doing now? Feeling ko student lang ako ngayon eh. Hahaha!

    Perks of being a volleyball player? You get to meet new friends.

    Most memorable experience with fans? Pag nakakakita ako ng mga bata na nag-aaspire mag-volleyball tapos sinasabi nila na isa daw ako sa mga inspiration nila, nakakataba ng puso.

    Favorite song? Ang dami. Hindi song eh, artist eh. Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5

    Favorite food? Sinigang na baboy na maasim sobra

    Unforgettable experience in school? Nakapasok ako ng Ateneo

    Who is your crush? No comment.

    What is love? Happiness.

    Message to your fans: Super thank you sa suporta kasi sa inyo kami humuhugot ng lakas.

    Name: Aleona Denise Santiago

    Nickname: Dindin

    Birthdate: September 26, 1993

    Zodiac sign: Libra

    Hometown: Cavite City

    School: National University

    Childhood dream: Be a track and field athlete

    If you’re not a volleyball player what will you be doing now? Nagta-track and field

    Perks of being a volleyball player? Sa ngayon nag-boom ang volleyball maganda siya kasi isa ka na sa mga artista, madaming nakakakilala sa iyo. Pag nag-volleyball player ka malaking tulong sa magulang mo kasi may scholarship, may allowance, may dorm, food, so malaking tulong siya sa family.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Most memorable experience with fans? Siyempre every time na may haters ako pinagtatanggol nila ako.

    Favorite song? Ikaw by Yeng Constantino

    Unforgettable experience in school? Nakilala ko si Chico (Manabat).

    Who is your crush? My husband, Chico

    What is love? Love is blind

    Message to your fans: Unang una, maraming salamat kasi andyan sila sinusuportahan nila ako or 'yung team na nilalaruan ako.

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