#Relationshipgoals: Lady Eagle Michelle Morente and ex-Lady Archer Nicky Garcia
Thereís no such thing as school rivalry for this athletic pair. Supporting each otherís career and tolerating the otherís quirkiness, the two prove that love indeed wins!
We found returning Ateneo Lady Eagle Michelle Morente at a restaurant across the university past lunchtime last Saturday. She had just finished her meal with girlfriend, former Lady Archer and Season 76 women’s basketball champion Nicky Garcia. The kamustahan took place quickly, with both parties holding in a chuckle from whatever just happened prior to the meeting. Timing, we thought, could be everything.
That day, Morente had also just come from a clinic located in the same building. She brought with her the X-ray of her lungs, after seeking an expert’s help for her more-than-two-weeks old cough. We’d learn later that she was okay and had nothing to worry about. Before that, the Political Science student (planning to shift to Information Design next school year) attended class at Ateneo. For the rest of the day, she had Garcia as company—just like a normal day ever since they officially became a couple eight months ago.
You could blame timing again for how they got together. As Morente pined for a chance to rejoin her teammates after sitting out for a year last year, she had the time to focus on other things that would then lead her to Garcia. Since then, the two have been inseparable. Garcia had a pretty flexible schedule in her hands as a property specialist stationed at UP Town Center in Katipunan—one tricycle ride away from the volleybelle’s school. She had just taken a basketball-coaching stint at the Katipunan-based Miriam College, among other things jobs to keep her busy these days.
This is Morente and Garcia’s first Valentine’s together as a couple. The sporty pair has managed to meet up often and be each other’s refuge, despite being in demand individually. In this special interview, they reveal more about their romance and why it’s not one of those typical stories between an Atenista and a Lasalista in love!
Describe your first meeting.
Morente: Actually, we knew each other by face naman na through a common friend. We didn’t really know each other talaga. Parang, “Oh, si Nicky!” Ganun lang.
Garcia: Smile-smile lang ‘pag nakasalubong kasi co-athlete, eh, tapos familiar faces. May teammate ako nung high school na nasa Ateneo, tapos friends ko rin naman yung ibang players sa Ateneo, so ‘yun.
M: One time, may training kami tapos nandun siya tapos ako, I looked down na lang kasi I was too shy to say “Hi.”
G: Nag-smile lang sya nun tapos hindi naman niya ko pinansin. Hindi pa kami magkakilala nun. Hindi pa kami talaga nag-i-interact. Nagfollow-han lang kami sa Twitter.
Why did you follow each other on Twitter despite not knowing each other in real life?
G: Siya! O, bakit ikaw kaya nag-follow sa kin!
M: Wala lang, nag-follow lang ng bago ganun!
G: Ni-follow back ko siya kasi idol, eh. Kasi nung time na ni-follow nya ko ay Season 76, nag champion na ang Ateneo nun. Michelle Morente na sya. So, “Ay, si idol!”
M: So, ni-follow back mo lang ako kasi nag-champion kami ganun? Grabe!
G: Syempre hindi naman kita kilala masyado, eh! Ha ha! I mean, nagka-name ka so dun kita nakilala! Nung Season 76 kasi, nag-champion din kami ng Lady Archers. Yung men’s team tsaka yung women’s volleyball naman namin hindi nag-champion.
How did you become legit friends?
G: Mga October 2014 kami nag-meet. Tapos on probation siya nung time na yun, eh ako naglalaro-laro ako ng basketball sa labas. So, niyaya ko siya na pa-joke lang kasi alam ko naman nagbabasketball din sya.
M: Hindi yun yun! Nag-post ka sa Facebook! Ha ha!
G: Ay, sorry, sa Facebook nga pala. Naghahanap ako ng teammate naming tapos nag-comment sya na sali daw sya. Sinabi ko sa iba kong teammates na, “Uy, si Morente sali daw.” Alam naman namin na nagba-basketball din sya dati tapos ayun, sabi ko sabihin ko sali na sya. Tapos ayun ni-message sya ng iba kong teammates na friends din nya pala. Dun nag-build yung friendship. Sumali kami sa Pinay Baller’s League and trained for two months. Third or fourth place ata kami nun.
M: Wala lang, nagkaayaan lang. May mga time kasi na when we have trainings or after the games, kakain at lalabas kami kahit saan. ‘Yun, dun kami naging close.
How have you bonded recently as a couple?
M: Well, ako kasi, I started training na twice a day for the UAAP. ‘Tapos, I have school, so walang choice most of the time so she goes to me. Sometimes sa dorm lang kami, chill-chill lang. Like, I’ll sleep lang tapos she’s there lang then I have to go to training ganun.
G: Yeah, dahil chill-chill lang naman yung work ko, so may time ako para puntahan siya.
M: Tsaka dyan lang kasi yung real estate job nya sa UP Town before, so minsan lunch kami sa Katipunan or minsan dinner kami. Convenient for us!
How did your fans and teammates react when you came out as a couple online?
M: Well, yung fans kasi they have different sides. Some of them are happy, yung iba hindi pa rin maka-move on sa ex ko. They would compare her to my ex. May mga “Ba’t mo sya pinagpalit?” ganun- ganun. Pero with my teammates naman kung saan naman ako masaya, masaya din sila.
G: Ini-stalk din ako ng mga fans. Ha ha! Lalo na yung Instagram ko, like yung mga picture ko with my ex—hindi ko naman ni-delete so nagko-comment sila na, “O bakit di mo pa rin ni-delete mga pictures ng ex mo, kayo na ni Mich ‘di ba?” Mga ganun! Ha ha! Gusto kong replyan na “Pake mo ba? It’s not your life” Pero ayun, nasanay na lang ako. May mga tao talagang ganun.
But there are fans who love you together?
M: Oo naman. They’re really supportive! They would always say na “Ikaw, pag sinaktan mo si Ate Mich...” ganyan-ganyan. Ha ha!
G: May mga ganung tweets talaga. Tapos may “Stay strong po.” Ha ha!
M: Actually, minsan nga sila pa nauuna bumati na “Happy Monthsary,” eh. Sila pa yung excited. “Advance happy monthsary!” ganun!
G: So far, wala pa naman kaming shipper name! Ha ha!
This is corny, but is sometimes real when it comes to couples with one from Ateneo and the other from La Salle. Do you get school rivalry get between you?
G: Actually, wala naman parang nag-aasaran lang kasi syempre school pride!
M: Ma-pride siya, eh! Ha ha!
G: Oo, mas ma-pride ako pag dating sa Ateneo-La Salle, eh! Ha ha!
M: Inaaway nya ko!
G: Pagdating sa basketball, La Salle dapat. Sa volleyball, okay fine, Ateneo tayo. Nung first game niya this season, naka-Ateneo shirt ako. Sobrang sakit sa loob ko yun! Oo, nangati talaga ko nun! Ha ha! Hanggang dun lang naman. Yun lang, hindi naman to the point na parang todo away.
How do you support each other’s career?
M: There’s times na nung nasa real estate industry pa sya, usually I go to her. I’ll bring her lunch and pick her up. And now with her coaching with Miriam College, I’ll go to her games cheering for her students kahit hindi naman sya naglalaro, I’ll be there to watch her play her.
G: Eh, kasi sya sobrang busy girl nya. Nag-aaral siya ,nagti-training. Eh twice a day pa yung training nya, so ang boding namin most of the time is taking a nap. So, sinasamahan ko syang mag-nap in between classes bago mag-practice kasi need nya talaga yun, eh. Kailangan nya mag-power nap bago sya mag-training. So, ganun, nagna-nap din ako with her. Nanunuod nga din ako ng games nya. Ayun, wear ako ng Ateneo shirt pag games nya. Always present ako sa games nya.
Name three things you love about the other.
G: Bangs, her weirdness, and the character Stitch. Gusto nya si Stitch! Wala lang, ang cute lang na gusto nya si Stitch. May binigay ako sa kanya na stuffed toy na Stitch dati. Nag Singapore siya nun, eh. May competition sya nun sa Singapore ‘tapos pagbalik nya, nakita ko lang kasi yun tapos naalala ko sya so binili ko.
M: Sa kanya naman, yung sobrang pagka-vain nya sa buhok, hindi mo magugulo yung buhok nya. Pag ginulo mo, magagalit siya. Swear! Ha ha!
G: Natural yan! Walang product! Kasi yung pinapaggupitan ko na-stroke na, for six years ko sya barber. Ngayon, trying to look pa kung sino makakakuha ng ano nang hair ko.
M: Sobra ding linis nyang tayo, good thing for me kasi makalat akong tao. So, yun lagi niya akong, “Huy ang kalat-kalat dito, mag-linis ka nga.” And mas malakas ako sa kanya physically!
Name three things you hate about the other.
M: Ma-pride siyang tao, yun! Ha ha!
G: Ayoko sa kanya pagkamakalat. Makalat masyado! Ha ha! OC kasi ako! Tapos matigas ulo nya, hindi sumusunod!
M: Yan, ayaw ko sa kanya nagna-nag sakin!
G: Kapag binu-bully din nya ko!
M: Ay, ayoko sa kanya pag-asar-talo sya! Ganyan! Haha. Sobrang asar-talo yan, eh. Ha ha!
Would you say you complement each other? Or are you opposites?
Both: Weirdness namin, parehas! Ha ha!
M: Ako, mas maingay. Depende sa time at mood. May mga times na siya tapos ako tahimik or vice versa.
How are you spending Valentines together?
M: Ako, I have training and school.
G: Busy kasi siya, eh. Pero dapat manunuod kami ng movie!
M: We’ll find time na lang!
Happy 7th Monthsary 💕 Thank you for being there for me. Keeping up with my craziness and weirdness. Im always grateful for having you. Even though most of the time you get annoyed with me. But hey, I know you love me too. So its okay 😬 I love you so much byubyu. See you soon! 💕💋 @nicky18garcia #06032016 #7th #&stillcounting