by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

It is merely out of passion and popularity that makes a person holf on to a specific sport. But for Christian John Yanga, 19, a third year Business Management student of Bulacan State University, it’s more than that.

Dawn of Fervor

Seeing his sister and her boyfriend play volleyball when he was still nine years old was the origin of Yanga’s passion with the well-known sport. He was just a young grade three pupil of Tabang Elementary Central School in Plaridel when he thought he wanted to be popular too in the field of sports.

“Nahilig ako sa volleyball kasi ate ko at boyfriend niya player dati. Lagi ko sila napapanood. Parang naisip ko, gusto ko rin maglaro no’n at makilala,” shared Yanga.

Two years later, after establishing aid and dedication in volleyball, Yanga became determined in joining actual volleyball competitions. He had tried out to be a volleyball athlete at his new Alma Mater St. James Academy, also in Plaridel, and received good commentaries from a coach and the varsity players, making him go on for volleyball.

“Habang pinapanood ko ‘yong mga varsity players, nainggit ako kaya nag-try-out ako. Sabi naman sa’kin may potensyal ako. Do’n ako pinalakas ng coach namin,” said Yanga.

He started competing with other students in the annual Intramurals, when he was a grade five pupil in the year 2004.

He then pursued his dream and continued on joining volleyball matches, representing his batch and school as well. Yanga was also able to compete outside Plaridel and even beyond the province. His eagerness and skills in the sport thrived, and he became one of the tough spikers of the Jamean volleyball team.

He had been a Jamean athlete of volleyball during the annual Bulacan Private Schools Association (BULPRISA) Sectoral Meet for three years, and in the Luzon-OP Siena Schools DAOP-PALAD Meet. He had also represented his barangay during volleyball leagues.

In his last two years in St. James Academy before moving on to college, he was one of the best players of the school’s volleyball team, having a share on effort and skills why the team has been hailed as the champion in BULPRISA Volleyball men for two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009. Because of that victory, he had an opportunity to prove his abilities more, and play volleyball outside Bulacan, competing with other provinces in Region III.

Benefits over Doubts

                Entering college in Bulacan State University could be a stepping stone for Yanga to level up his career in the world of volleyball. Though admitting it would be easy for him to become one of the universities’ volleyball athletes, he didn’t even attempt to get a chance to be a part of BulSU’s Gold Gears, for he knew too well that his studies must be given so much more attention than sports.

                “Naniniwala akong kaya kong makapasok o makapasa para maging BulSU volleyball athlete, kaso ang inaalala ko eh ‘yong grades ko. Gabi na kasi mag-training ang varsity eh. At saka imbes na magpahinga na lang ako, may training pa,” shared Yanga.

                The prioritization for his studies made Yanga settle on playing volleyball through BSU’s annual Intramurals. Since first year college, he became a part of the College of Business Administration (CBA) Magnates Volleyball Team. In his second year (2011), their team won 2nd place in volleyball while in his first and third year (2010, 2012), the volleyball men Magnates was not able to get any place. Yanga believes his teammates are still tensed beginners in the field, and that they merely lacked of confidence.

                Doubts and indecisions were also a part of Yanga’s journey with volleyball. He confesses that he worries about his studies and health when having strenuous trainings and competitions. But thinking of the possibilities that might bring him proud and upward, thinking of the pleasure and delight he conveys to his family, friends and supporters, and thinking of gaining more bond and companionship, are Yanga’s set of motivation that serve as his strongholds to keep on.

                “May mga times na nagdadalawang-isip ako kung itutuloy ko ang pagba-volleyball. Bakit? Kasi nangangamba ako sa grades ko. Lagi na rin ako pumapayat ‘pag naglalaro. At umiitim pa (laughs). Nanghihinayang naman akong huminto kasi dito talaga ko nakikilala. Nakakahanap din ako ng maraming kabigan. Masaya rin pag nakikita kong maraming proud sa’kin lalo na pamilya ko. Pangarap ko rin makapaglaro sa Nationals. Kung tutuusin ang daming advantage kaya tuluy-tuloy na siguro ang paglalaro ko,” Yanga said.

Delights and Dreams

                To be able to stay on good grounds on both his academics and athletics, Yanga believes that knowing his priorities helps. If both studies and sports are considered important, balance must be attained.

                “Para sa akin kung ayaw magpabaya sa pag-aaral pero gusto pa rin maglaro, time management  ang solusyon. Kung sa umaga puro ka aral, sa gabi naman pagbutihin ang training. Na-a-attain mo ‘yong enjoyment, at the same time wala kang pangamba,” he said.

                When it comes to support and encouragement he gets, Yanga is truly filled with those. Just a simple “Go Xtian!” from his family and friends while the play is on can boost him.

                “’Pag naglalaro ako sinisigaw nila ‘yong pangalan ko, nakakagana maglaro ‘yon. Kumukuha pa sila ng pictures at videos tapos ipapakita sa’kin,” the spiker said.

The 19-year-old volleyball lover is beyond doubt a sports enthusiast. Aside from playing volleyball, he also enjoys himself in table tennis, basketball, badminton, billiards and chess. Since his vigor and devotion lies in volleyball, that is where he got concentrated in dealing with.

                Aside from volleyball, marami rin akong hilig tulad ng table tennis, basketball, badminton, billiards at chess, kahit hindi ako masyadong sanay. Ganyan ako kahilig sa sports,” he stated.

                It is not only in sports that the future businessman has been inclined to. Who would have thought that he is also gifted with powerful vocals? Since elementary, Yanga has been singing during masses and events in his school. He admits he also wants to be a famous singer someday, but does not have the guts to join singing competitions.

                Yanga was also a part of the CBA Magnates Pepsquad Competition in BulSU Intramurals 2012 wherein the team got second place, following the College of Home Economics (CHE) Tigers.

Despite being blessed with athletic stature, powerful vocals, and a good-looking physicality, Yanga remained humble and modest. It’s not wholly popularity that makes him pleased, but the friendship he gains, and the support and pride he gets hold of during competitions.

When asked what his message is for volleyball players like him, he said, “Ang mapapayo ko sa mga player na tulad ko, tyagain ang training kahit mahirap. Kasi sa bawat hirap may magandang resulta. Dapat nando’n din ang puso, sportsmanship at loyalty. Huwag agad magyabang. Huwag agad makuntento sa kung anong meron ka, kasi ma-i-improve mo pa ’yon lahat kapag hinasa mo pa ng husto.”

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