THE Ateneo Lady Eagles women’s volleyball team got an opportunity of a lifetime when the recently crowned UAAP champions were able to have a ‘selfie’ taken with President Aquino on Thursday.
And apparently, the meet-up between the Chief Executive and the Lady Eagles was purely by accident.
Ateneo team manager Tonyboy Liao bared to Spin.ph the Lady Eagles were only scheduled to tour Malacañang on the invitation of the lawyers of the Office of the President, most of whom were Ateneo alumni.
“Actually, ‘yung Office of the President, maraming abugado doon. Puro Atenista. They watched the finals series. They called up Mr. (Ricky) Palou (Ateneo athletic director) kasi mga alumni,” said Liao.
Luckily for the girls, President Aquino, also an Ateneo alumnus, happened to be in Malacañang at the time for the state visit of Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
Upon learning that the Lady Eagles were in the building, Aquino obliged to spend a few moments with the UAAP champions, spending around 10 minutes chatting and having pictures taken with the girls.
They Said It!
“Si PNoy, nung nalaman na nandoon sila, nakipag-photo op” - Ateneo Lady Eagles team manager Tonyboy Liao on the UAAP champions' chance meeting with the President in Malacanang.
As proof of the Lady Eagles' growing popularity, Liao also said even Malacañang employees and members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) asked for photo opportunities with the Lady Eagles.
“When we were there, lahat ng empleyado, naka-break time. Pagdating sa social hall, picture na katakot-takot. Pati mga guwardiya (PSG),” said Liao.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, kapag bumalik tayo dito, hindi na kayo sisitahin,” Liao joked.
Liao said the players were obviously excited about the opportunity of meeting the country's highest official.
“Most of them, first time to go to Malacañang. Masaya na nga sila na nakapunta ng Malacañang, ‘yun pa kayang maka-selfie si PNoy. Binigyan pa sila ng oras. Maski 10 minutes lang ‘yun, malaking bagay para sa kanila,” said Liao.
Incidentally, this was not the first time an Ateneo squad had visited Malacañang.
In 2012, the Ateneo Blue Eagles squad that won their fifth straight UAAP championship also got a chance to meet Aquino in Malacañang.
“Ang kuwento ni Ricky, 2:30 p.m. ang appointment kay PNoy pero nagpakita na siya, 4:30 p.m.,” Liao said.