​Mistakes are choices we decided to take. Mistakes are intentional paths we chose to walk in. They are inevitable, nevertheless, controllable. Human as we are, we sometimes tend to encircle incorrect choices which made us the subjects of people’s painful predicates. But no matter how wrong and erroneous those may be, mistakes will never define who we really are. They will define what we will be. And everything is in our command. Will we let these mistakes draw us into nothingness, or will we use these mistakes to bring ourselves into something great?

Kiefer Ravena’s issue has been circling a long time now and this one’s maybe a little bit late. But I believe nothing’s too late for one’s dispositions to be unmuted as much as it’s not yet too late for the King Eagle to admit his mistakes and start his engines into the right way. 

Sure, what he did was purely an enough reason to hate him.  It was immoral, nonsense, dirty, bad, and all the negative superlatives ever spoken. It was an act of cheating, dishonesty, covetousness, and everything in between. What he has done was an enough reason not to admire, support and idolize him anymore. Certainly, he has lost a lot of fans by this time now. But not me, not us.

A bunch of people has been asking my viewpoint with Kiefer’s issue, so now I’m giving you all the treat. I have seen the viber conversations before the news climbed at its peak but I only shrugged it off, thinking that was just some sort of a desperate hater who can do nothing but interfere with Ravena’s life. Even until the issue was all over social media and televisions, I kept on believing that it was not him. But not until I saw an interview with Kiefer not confirming nor denying it. That was when I knew. It was him. I felt sad. I was disappointed. I was hurt. I was hurt because I defended someone guilty. I was hurt because I can’t believe that he can do such thing. I was hurt because he did it to Alyssa Valdez. However, the big deal is not because it is THE Alyssa Valdez, but the fact the he is THE Kiefer Ravena. The King Eagle. The Phenom. The one we idolize, not just as an athlete, but as an individual as a whole.

But who am I to spread hate? Who am I not to forgive? Who am I to bash? Who am I to dictate Alyssa’s decisions? And even if I have a choice to either support him or not, I decided to stick into being one of Kiefer Ravena’s loyal fans. Upon entering the fandom, I promised myself that I will always have his back, through thick and thin. Isn’t now the right time to prove that? It is. It is the right time to prove that I will always be by his side no matter what. But that doesn’t make me less of an Alyssa Valdez fan. In fact, AV was the first ever athlete I idolized and supported. I love her, and I love everyone she loves- including Kiefer Ravena. I know Alyssa is smart and strong. Whatever her decision may be, she will have my support. Whatever their decision may be, they will always have my support. #KiefLy is my main ship, my OTP. No matter how far or deep the destination of this ship may be, rest assured, I will always be with them.

I support Kiefer Ravena unconditionally. Whatever circumstances the universe may give him, nothing will change. Yeah sure, he has mistaken. That was a wrong choice. A wrong move. An incorrect action. But he’s only human. I know he learned something from what happened- a big lesson much more than just “being maingat”. I know he will use this as a turning point to become better. Because it’s not yet too late to change.

Shoutout to everyone who chose to support our King Eagle despite of the storm he went through. We will always have your back, Kief! Millions may throw rocks on you, but we will always be right here, still cheering for you. 

#Kieflying Kiefer Ravena! We will always #KiefOnBelieving!


New Team, Same Dream, Same Big Fight

Few more days.

Few more days before we can finally see them in action.

Before we can finally see them put up big fights.

Before we can finally rip our lungs out, and cheer our hearts out.

Few more days before we can hear drumrolls and loud shouts. May it be from the Arena, or from our own hearts.

Few more days before we can finally feel like we’re going to run out of oxygen, every point, every set, every game.

Few more days to see the Lady Eagles serve, spike, set, dig, and dive. All of their own. Without Kiwi, without Mae, and without the Queen Eagle. 

Few more days to witness what heartstrong really is.

Yes, because few more days before the UAAP Season of the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Team in the post-Alyssa Valdez era starts.

Few more days before they will stand on their own feet. Without pressure. Without hype. Just one big fight.

Are you ready to witness another greatness? Are you ready to welcome another queens? 

Be prepared to shout One Big Fight as we, altogether will climb our way onto reclaiming the volleyball crown. Be ready to scream, jump, shout, and get hyped as we are about to witness the heartstronger Lady Eagles in their biggest fights!

Because the clock tick-tocks so fast, because the Earth rotates and revolves so fast, some of us haven’t totally swallowed the idea that we can longer hear “Alyssa Valdez down the line!”,”Alyssa Valdez with a kill!”, “Alyssa Valdez from the backrow!”, “Alyssa Valdez puts it away!”, “Alyssaaaaaaaaa Valdeeeeez!”, because she, the Phenom is already done with her domination in the UAAP. But surely, we would hear, “Jhoana Maraguinot!”, “Bea de Leon!”, “Jia Morado!”, “Mich Morente!”, “Kat Tolentino!”, “Kim Gequillana!”, and the rest of the Lady Eagles. Because the crowd favorite Valdez is now spreading her wings in Thailand, bringing one big fight and Typhoon Baldo in 3BB, we would surely be clapping our hands to the lady eagles with wings yet to unfold. And together, as a team, as a fandom, as one with the community that bleeds blue, would cheer for Alyssa miles away, and for the Ateneo Team all the way!

Many counted the Eagles out. They were underestimated. They were degraded. Since the V-League Collegiate Conference, they were pulled down by non-believers. But as strong as our hearts are, never did they back down. They did not even stare down on their bashers. When everyone’s busy putting them down, they were there, at Thailand, at Japan, gaining experiences and acquiring skills in order to put up exciting battles in the battlefield.

So go, faves. As the UAAP Volleyball Season 79 comes nearer, we believe that you can and you will fight harder and harder each game. You maybe are dubbed as a young team, but age could never define the outcomes of your games. Your heart will, your determination and hardwork will. We believe that eveything you’ve been through made you stronger and mightier than ever. We believe that the super rookies would fly high and spread their eagle-like wings above all. We believe that the returning key players are much eager to shake, rattle, and roll the volleyball court. Don’t let failures hinder you in claiming the crown. Instead, use them as turning points and breakthroughs to prove them wrong. Nowhere to go but up, girls. We are certain that all of you, Lady Eagles are going to swim depth of oceans, climb the highest mountains, and reach the top, against all odds. We believe. We always will.

We will never get tired of cheering and tweeting and watching you. Because never did you get tired to look after bombs and balls thrown onto you. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Just remember that you’ve got a one big blue fam behind your back, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Win or lose, we are here. Win. or. Lose. Because you may not win it all, but surely, you’ve won our hearts.

We are ready to welcome another era of greatness, Lady Eagles.  

Our lungs are more than ready to cheer for you. Our hands are more than ready to clap for you. Our feet are more than prepared to jump for you. Because we know, and we believe, that you are more than ready to conquer UAAP. 

Through the mantra of being HAPPY, playing with UNITY and nothing but HEARTSTRONG.

We’re going to do it one point at a time, one set at a time, one game at a time.

New team. Same dream. Same big fight.

Alyssa Valdez: She’s Only Human… or is she?

We’ve seen her fall down a lot of times. We’ve seen her shed tears. We’ve seen her down in bended knees. We’ve seen her struggle… from diving to kneeling to tumbling. And we’ve seen her stand up, fly high, and come back… stronger, mightier, higher than ever.

What do we expect? She’s the Queen Eagle. She’ll be flying high, always. She will never let arrows hit her. Never will she give up.

Because spikes may be blocked, serves may not be good, blocks may not be solid, hands may get tired, feet may knock down, knees may get hurt, but Alyssa’s heart knows no range.

So here’s for Ateneo’s former captain, Bureau of Customs’ captain, the Face of Philippine Volleyball, who brought her teams to the finals and hopefully, to the crown. Different teams, same results, same big fight.

Here’s for that girl wearing jersey #2, who has always been solid in good and bad times.

Here’s for that smiling lady who has always been fighting, either her team is up with 5 points or down with 15 points.

Here’s for that strong girl who, after committing errors, just turns around with heads down, and can still manage to go back to her teammeates and lift their hopes up.

Props to Alyssa Valdez who, at her present achievement and capabilities, never failed to amaze us. She has been doing her thing, always. Either it’s with Team Besh, or against Team Besh. With Dennise Lazaro as her back-up, or with Lazaro digging her attacks. She maybe is tired, exhausted, and fatigue, but never did she let us down.

Props to our all-around player. Our spiker, setter, blocker, and libero. She is always lit. From offense or defense, she’s unstoppable.

Pure talent, pure heart.

She falls down, because she’s only human. But she comes back everytime like nothing happened.

Are we sure Valdez is not a superhero?

Because she’s always been saving dead balls and dead games.

Name it, she have it.

But the best thing about her? It seems like she’s not aware that she’s great. She remained as the same Alyssa we’ve known since the start. The humble one and the beast in the court.

Because she is the best volleyball player in the Philippines,

Because she has always been standing up,

Because she believes that her team can,

And because she has that strong heart,

Alyssa Valdez, are you human?

Epitome of Humility in Greatness: Valdez Knows

“Alyssa Valdez from the backrow!”

“Alyssa Valdez down the line!”

“Alyssa Valdez off-the-block!”

“Alyssa Valdez finds the spot!”

“Dropball by Alyssa Valdez”

“Service Ace by Alyssa Valdez!”

“Alyssaaaaaaaaaa Valdeeeeeeez!”

A name in the history of Ateneo de Manila University. A name in the history of Philippine Sports. A name who changed the name of volleyball, not just here in the country, but in the whole world. Yes, that name is Alyssa Valdez.

Five great years. We couldn’t ask for more. Her era was the golden years of Philippine Volleyball, the golden years of Ateneo.

From her sharp serves in the service line, up to those killing spikes. From her indescribable face as she flies, up to her never-ending smiles. Surely, this girl is the limelight.

She is Alyssa Valdez. The Queen Eagle. The Face of Philippine Volleyball. The Phenom. Yet, with hundreds of individual trophies gracing their household, never did she speak about her enormity. She flies in the highest altitude, but she kept her feet on the ground. Heart of a champion, it is.

Started at the bottom, now she’s here. She fell down for God-knows-how-many-times. She shed buckets of tears. She lost so many games. But no matter how beaten her body was, her heart remained strong. She was once the weakest, once the youngest, was once a bench warmer. But those circumstances did not pull her down. Rather, all the unwanted losses and painful experiences prepared her in facing all the foes she’s about to encounter. Minor setbacks, for major comebacks.

Point by point, game by game, season by season, year by year, she grew. She played hard, and trained harder. Inch by inch, she’s starting to reach what she has been working hard for. She became the greatest she can ever be. Ladies and gentlemen,

The phenomenal spiker.

The best server.

The highest scorer.

The Lazaro-like digger.

The setter.

The blocker.

The back liner.

The Beast.

Everyone’s nightmare on the wing.

All hail, the Queen- Alyssa Valdez.


But just like the reality of life, even the best fall down sometimes. The odds weren’t always in her favor. Sharp knives were thrown on her. She was stabbed for countless times. She received hurtful gifts all the time. Because even the best fall down sometimes. Even her personal life, her actions, the way she speaks, she acts, the way she looks- she was judged. Every time. All the time. We can’t please everyone, and Alyssa is no exception. As she rises, bashers were trying and doing their best to see her fall. Millions of words were directed unto her. But the best thing about this girl? Never did she plant any hatred against anyone. Never did she let other people’s judgments affect her and bring her down. Instead, she used these as turning points to do more and be more.


So here’s for Ateneo’s Queen Eagle. The captain who encourages her teammates to give their all every game. The captain who managed to smile in the midst of everyone’s tears. The captain who assures the team that everything is going to be alright. The captain who motivates and believes that they can. The captain who lifts the team up, when they feel like falling. The captain who flies in when her teammates were down in bended knees. The captain who continues to fight until the end.

“Kahit mahirap, kahit nakakapagod, kahit anong meron, diba lalaban ka lang…” A teary-eyed Alyssa Valdez made the whole blue squad feel sad, hurt and sorrowful. It is very unusual to see an always-smiling-Alyssa to be in tears. It is very rare to see tears go down her face. That was during the UAAP Season 78 Finals Game 2 against their archrival, De La Salle Lady Spikers, wherein they won in five thrilling sets. Everyone thought that it was already the Phenom’s last dance. But tables were turned, and the girls with the strongest hearts stood out. We were so proud. So proud to have the eagles’ back. So proud to support them. So proud that we are one of the community that shouts “Go Ateneo, One Big Fight!”

Everything comes to an end. Even her UAAP greatness came to an end. She closed her collegiate career with a bang. But it is undeniable that Alyssa deserves a better last flight. Nevertheless, I think she doesn’t need more than what she had. Because it was an exploding #PhenomOut for Valdez. Alyssa, together with the Lady Eagles were the happiest silver medalists ever seen.

Thank you for the five great years, Ly.

Thank you for those serves, spikes, back row attacks, blocks, and digs you showed us.

Thank you for the smiles, laughter, and tears you shared with us.

Thank you for making us believe that nothing can ever beat a person with a strong heart.

Thank you for the touching speeches.

Thank you for dedicating your MVP trophies to the volleyball community.

Thank you for motivating us to stand up if we’re down.

Thank you for regarding us your fans, as your family.

You deserve all of those countless blessings.

UAAP will never be the same without you. You are one of the best things which happened in Philippine volleyball. You are one of Ateneo’s superstars, one of those who gave so much honor and pride to the school and the country.


So go, Alyssa. Walk, run, chase your dreams. We will always be here. We got your back, all the time. We’ll support you in every path you ought to take, in every decision you choose to make. Your happiness is ours too. Your success and loss, are ours too.

It maybe is #PhenomOut for UAAP, but it will always be #PhenomIn for the rest of the world to see.

  • Valdez knows.