CSB’s John Vic De Guzman goes from volleyball scholar to MMFF star

Ayssa Rola
CSB’s John Vic De Guzman goes from volleyball scholar to MMFF star
The College of Saint Benilde team captain takes on a different role as he stars in the MMFF horror-thriller Seklusyon

MANILA, Philippines – On a normal day, one could spot John Vic De Guzman parading around the hallways of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, perhaps rocking his signature green and white ensemble as the Blazers’ team captain for the 92nd NCAA Men’s Volleyball Tournament.

This Christmas season, however, the spiker finds himself in unfamiliar territory as he revels in the spotlight of a different stage – the big screen.

De Guzman landed a role in Erik Matti’s thriller Seklusyon, one of the official entries in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). The lone horror film entry in the 2016 MMFF debuted at Macau’s International Film Festival, where it drew praise from international critics.

But before being making the MMFF cast and staying on top of the NCAA MVP race, it wasn’t always an easy road for the CSB star.

Volleyball scholar

Before De Guzman clinched his character as Marco, one of the 4 deacons in the film, he led a simple life in Laguna as a kid who wanted to try a little bit of everything.

“Nung nag-high school ako, part ako ng isang banda. Then nung second year, naging dancer ako. Tapos nung third year, nag-start ako maglaro ng badminton,” De Guzman shared.

(When I started high school, I was part of a band. Then on my second year, I became a dancer. Come third year, I started playing badminton.)

John Vic De Guzman hopes to represent the country again at the SEA Games. Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

The Blazers’ skipper admitted that he only started engaging in the sport after high school, with his sister – who was also playing volleyball at the time – serving as his inspiration.

Not long after, volleyball paved the way for De Guzman to reach his dream of obtaining a diploma.

“I started to play volleyball since when I was 18. Before, ang goal ko is makapag-aral nang libre, until the time na dumating lahat ng opportunity because of hardwork.”

(I started to play volleyball when I was 18. Before, my goal was to be able to study for free, until the time that a lot of opportunities came because of hardwork.)

 “Until ayun, minahal ko na ang volleyball kasi that’s the reason why nakakapag-aral ako nang free.”

(Until I fell in love with volleyball because that’s the reason why I’m studying for free.)

It’s been an upward journey since then for the 6-foot-2 spiker. Apart from propelling CSB to back-to-back Final Four appearances, De Guzman also made the cut and played for the Philippine national volleyball team at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.

Realizing childhood dream

While grateful for all the opportunities brought about by his sport, De Guzman wasn’t shy to say that one of his childhood dreams was to step foot in the entertainment industry, just like his uncle – the late legendary filmmaker Lino Brocka.

So when he learned about the Seklusyon auditions through his management agency Virtual Playground, he did not hesitate to give it a try.

“Yes, isa sa mga plans ko ang maka-arte at makita sa TV especially nung bata pa ako. Pangarap ko na dati na mapalakpakan at maranasan makita sa TV, hanggang sa dumating na ang opportunity na ito.”

(Yes, one of my plans was to act and be on TV especially since I was a kid. It has been my dream to be cheered on and to see myself on TV, until this opportunity finally came.)

The transition may have been a challenge, but De Guzman believes that both fields require a lot of discipline, hard work, patience as well as a good listening ear to either the coach or director.

“Ang pagkakaiba lang nila, hindi ako nag-memakeup sa volleyball,” he joked.

(The only difference is that I don’t wear makeup in volleyball.)

Making the family proud

The Taft standout shared that he is open to other acting opportunities, given the chance. Alongside honing his newfound craft, De Guzman also his his eye on a different prize come next year.

“[Ang] goal ko [ay] makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Then, I’m planning to bring the name of the country for the second time sa SEA Games,” said De Guzman. “Gusto ko rin makuha ‘yung Championship sa main tournament namin sa NCAA.”

(My goal is to finish school. Then, I’m planning to bring the name of the country for the second time in the SEA Games. I also want to win the Championship in our main tournament in NCAA.)

Most importantly, the volleyball player-turned-actor simply wants to give back to the inspiration behind it all – his family.

“Of course, maibigay ko lahat sa pamilya ko lahat ng ibinigay nila sa akin. Handa akong ibalik lahat ng sinakripisyo nila para sa akin, lalo na sa mama ko, para mas maging happy sila.”

(Of course, I want to give back to my family. I’m ready to repay all their sacrifices, especially to my mom, to make them happy.) – 

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