Gretchen Ho's tips for finding new passions

MANILA, Philippines – Gretchen Ho rose to fame as part of the Ateneo Fab 5 in UAAP women's volleyball. That eventually opened doors for her to become a leading female sports personality and TV host. 

But shifting to another career was not as easy as it would seem like to other people. Gretchen needed to make big decisions. 

Here's her story and some tips for finding and pursuing new passions:

Knowing when to stop

I stopped playing back in 2016. It was because I realized that media work and semi-pro volleyball couldn’t go together anymore.

The lifestyles were totally opposite. You can’t sleep late when you’re training, and I was always up late because of shoots, shows, and events. You have to look slim on tv, but you have to be muscular for volleyball. I had to choose one.

After deciding to pick TV work, I applied for the news department of ABS-CBN. Good thing they had an opening because ANC was about to reformat the whole channel. I did full-time work for the news and current affairs division.

I think it was the right decision because my career really took off at that point when I decided to focus.

Grabbing opportunities 

I found my passion for hosting and storytelling. It was a product of me just grabbing opportunities and following what felt right. You have to know that this wasn’t all really planned because I initially wanted to go corporate. I had to find my way through the media jungle, and eliminate what I didn’t like doing. 

The passion for hosting was something I found early on. I loved making events fun and being able to translate messages to my audience clearly. I loved putting heart to the events I hosted. I love making people happy. 

My passion for storytelling is something that I discovered along the way. I found that doing features on TV and social media allowed me to use my platform to help empower other people. I love putting the spotlight on others and sort of giving them a nudge to keep doing what they’re doing.

I know that media exposure goes a long way, and that has been my purpose for my features – to help and encourage people to pursue their passions. 

I also love doing “happinews” because it allows me to spread hope and light in a world that is full of grim news. 

Reinventing yourself and going past stereotypes 

You are who you make yourself to be.

Back when I was starting out, not a lot of athletes would be welcoming of opportunities in the media. People were afraid of being too "showbiz." Now, the media appearances are already part and parcel of an athlete’s life. People have embraced it already. They see that it can be a good thing, and it can be, as long as it doesn’t make you lose your focus. 

Getting out of your comfort zone

My advice to those who want to shift to another career? Being an athlete gives you a tremendous advantage because you already have the right attitude and discipline.

Just don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, try new things, and find the job that’s for you. When you do find what you want to do, master it, study other people who do it, and give your heart to it. Just like an athlete would in his sport.

Missing old passions 

I do miss volleyball that’s why I still play for different leagues outside of semi-pro volleyball. I do small tournaments and practice with former teammates.

I still try to keep an athlete's lifestyle up to this point. I like the discipline and work-life balance. 

If I don’t have the time to play volleyball, I do sports which are "better suited" to my schedule and lifestyle. Running is a staple in my workout, as well as cycling. I do gym work to keep myself in good physical condition apart from the cardio. I also like climbing mountains.

Anything, really, that will help me expend all the energy I have in my body! 


Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.