Mika Reyes on how to #LoveYourself

Barry Viloria on Apr 07, 2016 04:36 PM
Mika Reyes on how to #LoveYourself
It all starts on the inside, if you ask DLSUís Golden Girl. (Photo by Andreo Esguerra for Chalk Magazine)

Have you met Mika Reyes? Like, the real Mika Reyes once she’s done sporting that green-white jersey, headed to her folks waiting for her after every game altogether on their way home? She’s really boyish, you know, that short hair pulled back with her signature “Sanrio” bands in the front, and keeping it too redundant. Although she stands 5’11”, she remains open on her feelings of awkwardness and insecurity about being taller than most girls. This was especially so when she was still at St. Scholastica's College.

I suddenly remember three years ago when we shot Reyes for a fashion feature for Chalk, where I am lifestyle editor. (It was my second time meeting her after a shoot for UAAP Magazine.) We were shooting her with then-teammate Mel Gohing as star athletes from the Season 75 champion squad. For the shoot, we had her change into a green sleeveless top and printed shorts, plus a statement bracelet and a bangle both in mustard yellow. Minutes later, she would come out of the locker room wearing that out-of-character ensemble.

“Okey na ba ‘to?” Reyes asked, looking too sluggish, boyish actually, her shoulders too slouchy to carry that screamingly girly wear.

It looked like she didn’t like it. She looked really funny, TBH. Obviously, poor girl knew nothing about fashion. But we later realized, it’s not like she cared, or that she needed it.

 

It’s been years, and Reyes has since—cheesy as it may—metamorphosized. Now 21, she’s one of the country’s top poster girls in Philippine women’s volleyball. She gets invited to grace PBA openings, appears on multiple magazine covers, and maintains a string of endorsements. The last we’ve heard, she has become too busy that she has now signed up with a legit talent manager. She’s also an “influencer” now—what they call those bright, young scenesters and social media sensations who use their online presence to promote events and advocacies.

Indeed, change was noticeable when I saw Reyes again in our next shoot for Chalk, which happened late last year. Aptly, it was for our Beauty Issue, where the story focused on her, plus UPFRONT host and UP Lady Maroons captain Bea Daez, radio jock and 360 Fitness ambassador Tin Gamboa, and fitness coach and aspiring nutritionist Cai Antonio—all of whom are body-happy, self-accepting women. They were fit girls whom we dubbed as the new it girls.

At the shoot, we asked each young lady what she liked about her body. Daez answered it’s her toned arms; Gamboa replied, her chest; and Antonio said it’s her thighs.

Reyes said it’s her legs. “I like my legs, since they’re very long,” she laughed. “Hindi sya common sa lahat, hindi sa lahat ng girls na matangkad. I’m proud to have them.”

Obviously, Reyes is now a new woman whose goal has since been putting her self and her sport ahead. And, mind you, it’s not just working out that she puts her thrust on to fulfill this everyday mission.

“Fitness is also about boosting your self-confidence on your own. Since fit ka at kontento ka na sa sarili mo, hindi ka na conscious,” Reyes, who hopes to graduate Pscyhology, said.

Being too sure about yourself maybe hard for someone too hot a property they eat controversies for breakfast. Say, the aftermath of that breakup we all knew about, which left her hounded by fans and haters. But how does Reyes do it? We didn’t really get to ask, but only did dare quiz her on where she thinks confidence, self-assurance, and, yes, even sexiness stem? It was sort of to inspire us as well.

“Nasa aura yan ng tao. Dun nagsisimula naman ang self-confidence mo, good vibes and good aura yung pinapakita.” –With an interview by Gabby Dario

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