Ateneo’s Maddie Madayag and the value of ‘family’
Barry Viloria on Mar 07, 2016 10:01 PM
The new team favorite shares who inspires her every game. (Photos taken from Madayag's Instagram: @maddie17madayag)
It’s not easy getting Ateneo middle spiker Maddie Madayag for an interview. She’s busy as imagined, understandable for a student-athlete from a squad trying to take its championship streak to a 3-peat. When she’s not training with the rest of the Lady Eagles at the Blue Eagle Gym, she’s skimming through her books and notes to help her through her demanding course—Economics. Madayag’s gotten so busy lately, she now has a manager helping fix her schedule. (A few sponsorships, included.) And when you finally get Madayag for that interview, you’d likely be bothered by her manager all nervous from behind. It’s her dad, calling from Davao, asking the whereabouts of her 18-year-old.
“Pag kumakain nga lang yung team sa labas, pini-picture-an ko lahat kami at isesend sa Dad ko,” Madayag, who’s presently residing at a dorm on campus, begins. “So, lagi din akong inaasar ng iba pag kumakain, ‘Oh, Maddie, mag-picture ka na!”
It’s funny and embarrassing at first, she admits. Although, there’s really nothing wrong with it come to think of it. It’s just how close-knit they are back home in the South, where she was born and raised.
While Madayag (born Madeleine Yrenea) grasped the value of discipline in wushu, her first sport, it was in the household where she picked up things she didn’t get to learn in the classroom. She likes to think she got her “being a lady” demeanor from her mom, and her being focused and hungry for knowledge and “matters pertaining life in general” from her dad. In fact, Madayag learned about volleyball following through her mom, uncles, lolo, and lola, who, she proudly says, were varsity players in their college days.
“We are so close in the family that people see us to be just like best friends or brother and sisters,” she speaks of her folks back home. “We talk and share things with each other. Especially now that we are apart, we talk on the phone more often and maintain our openness to each other despite the distance between us.”
“To emphasize how family is to me, I believe in the statement, ‘Nobody is as important as my family, all the others are like mere strangers.’”
It follows that Madayag’s one to strive to be the best her—all for her family, of course.
“I give my best in every subject. As a student athlete, I give priority to my tasks as a student than as an athlete.”
She then adds, with all seriousness.
“I haven’t been in a relationship yet. It’s not yet time and it’s not my priority for now.”
Feeling homesick? Given her tight relationship with the Lady Eagles, sophomore Madayag easily finds another family to consider home. It’s where she finds solace, as she goes through one tough season to another.
“We are like the best of friends in the team,” she shares, adding that it’s her “Ate Alyssa” that acts like the team’s compass. “She is our role model in and out of the court. She exudes good character whether as our team captain in the game or as a friend outside the court.”