Philippine beach volleyball stars Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons aim to leave a legacy of building the country’s beach volleyball community.
On Tuesday’s, December 7 episode of Rappler Talk, the country’s top pair turned emotional as they shared their vision for Philippine beach volleyball with Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) founder Charo Soriano.
“Gumagawa siya (Soriano) ng paraan para makalaro kami sa liga, to expose our talent, our passion and sobrang nakaka-proud kasi pinag-usapan lang namin like small talk tapos ngayon, nag-grow na ang beach volleyball ,” shared Rondina.
“Ang gusto lang namin ay makilala ang beach volleyball tapos ngayon, marami na kami natutulungan na bata.”
(Charo Soriano makes a way for us to play in a league, to expose our talent and passion [for the sport] and I’m proud of the results because we used to just have small talks about it, then now we are able to grow beach volleyball. We initially just wanted beach volleyball to be known then now, we are able to help so many kids.)
Rondina and Pons were once UAAP rivals for University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University, respectively, but both chose to partner and focus on beach volleyball after graduating.
For Pons, it was the game itself and the community that convinced to her stick with beach volleyball.
“Sobrang na-in love na ako sa beach volleyball kasi kahit sobrang nakakapagod siya kasi dalawa lang kayo, tapos mainit pa, basta sobrang saya niya na hindi ko ma-explain!” said Pons.
“Ang plus factor pa doon ‘yung mga na sa paligid mo – ang teammates mo, ‘yung coaches, parang sobrang healthy lahat and competition, and ang dami mong mapuntahan and makilalang friends.”
(I fell in love with beach volleyball because even though it’s more tiring since you’re just a pair and it’s hot, it makes me happy that I can’t explain it! A plus factor is the environment – your teammates, your coaches, everyone’s healthy even the competition, and you get to go to so many places and make new friends.)
But what kept them going was that they both recalled a time when they received encouragement from Soriano. Her words built them up to continue producing results for the country’s beach volleyball scene.
“Naalala ko sabi ni Ate Charo: ‘Ang sarap kayong tulungan kasi trinatrabaho ‘nyo and natutupad ‘nyo through your [efforts],” shared Rondina.
“So coming from her, sarap pakinggan and hindi mo na-expect na may nakaka-appreciate na iba sa fans at sa pamilya namin. Iba ang pananaw niya sa amin – in the way we play and how we perform our game.”
(I remember Ate Charo telling us that it’s great to help you guys because you are able to work hard and produce results through your effort. So coming from her, it built us up because we didn’t expect someone like her will appreciate us because she has a different perspective on us like in the way we play and how we perform our game.)
Rondina and Pons debuted in the Asian Seniors Beach Volleyball Championship last November and the ended their campaign in the Round of 16.
After capping the year in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Beach Volleyball Champions League, they will set their sights on a Southeast Asian (SEA) Games triumph in Vietnam after finishing third in the 2019 edition. – Rappler.com