Say hey to the woman who brings ‘joy’ to every DLSU athlete

Barry Viloria on May 09, 2016 01:27 AM
Say hey to the woman who brings ‘joy’ to every DLSU athlete
Meet Joy Lanting, the athletics office’s tournament coordinator and every La Salle athlete’s acting mom. (Photo by Vyn Radovan; photos below taken from Lanting's Facebook account)

Joy Lanting is a name all too familiar among the student-athletes of DLSU. At least, for the past six years. If you’ve caught any La Salle game live—from basketball to cheerdance to baseball to any in the lineup—you’d find her as the bespectacled, green shirt-wearing lady crying “Animo!” from the sidelines. Why she’s present in all of the athletes’ games is because she acts as the tournament coordinator of DLSU Taft—and this is just one of her many duties on the job.

But Lanting, 30, isn’t just some lady monitoring the Lasallian athletes and their games from the bench or a clerk keeping busy inside the Room 901 of Enrique Razon. Over time, she’s become the confidante, sister, mom, and so much more to any student-athlete who has gone through the varsity program of the green school.

Once a student-athlete
Lanting connects with student-athletes quite naturally, counting in her being one, too, back in the day. In high school in her native Guagua, Pampanga, she played softball under the tutelage of Isaac Bacarisas. The latter used to coach the national team and La Salle, and saw potential in Lanting so much so he recruited her to be part of both squads.

Lanting, then taking up BSEd Guidance and Counseling and AB Psychology while on full athletic scholarship, would play her five years in the UAAP. Her allowance? “Okay naman” at around P4,000 a month. She once ran off with a third year finish in the softball event, “but laki ng improvement kasi during my time we beat all the teams including Adamson.”

The life of a La Salle varsity member was quite different from how it is now, she says. It is, in fact, a better life for the student-athletes.

“We played at the UP and UST fields. We trained inside La Salle—and it was rigid. May football field pa kami nun na ngayon ay Henry Sy Sr Hall na,” she recalls.

“We only had the athletics director, a person in charge of operations and then one coordinator. Now, we have a director, an academic coordinator, an athletic services coordinator, a sports psychologist, and may Miss Joy sila.”

Green-blooded through and through
Lanting only became Taft’s “Miss Joy” after four years. Straight out of college, her first job was a sports psychologist consultant at the Philippine Sports Commission. A year after, she became the assistant to the sports director of De La Salle Zobel. It took three years more before she returned to her Alma Mater.

In the 75th UAAP season, Lanting was tasked as UAAP coordinator. A year after, she became tournament coordinator, and this was when she had to be on top of the athletic department’s many duties. She took on holding media-related activities like guestings, press conferences, and photo shoots; monitoring of the varsity budget; coordinting with sponsors; staging teambuilding activities; and arranging endorsements for select student-athletes.

Expect Lanting to be at her desk at 8 in the morning every work day, leaving at around 7 p.m.

“Pag needed as in super late, I stay up until late, too. Lalo na pag UAAP season na. May mga reports kasi kami and we also take charge of events, workshops, etc.,” she explains.

“Pag game day, usually I double check if okay na transpo for the athletes, then I monitor the games. I just stand by in case they’ll need me.”

More than being a coordinator
Her office becomes a common refuge among the La Salle athletes. There at the Office of Sports Development, the Archers come and go to ask about their scholarships, do some research through the readily available computers, or just chitchat with Miss Joy.

“Sometimes, sa ‘kin pinapakisuyo nga letters, gifts, and food ng mga fans for the players,” she adds.

Many athletes have gone through Lanting. From ballers LA Revilla and David Webb to volleybelles Michele Gumabao and Aby Maraño to topnotch players playing the less popular sports: Carlos Laurel, Johansen Aguilar, Jodi Fronda, name it.

It’s the best part of the job, if you ask her. The world outside might see her alagas as either just athletes tasked to banner school pride or crushable personalities to fan over. But Lanting sees them more than that. And the different, more intimate relationship she nurses with these guys stands as proof.

“Pinag-uusapan namin lahat!” she laughs. “From acads to sports to family to love life. Minsan ultimong ano susuotin if may event.”

“Sa totoo lang maraming sweet sa kanila. They send me sweet text messages and give me food like chocolates. Or hug nila ako pag nakikita nila ako. They also invite me pag birthdays. I hang out with them naman but not drinking—usually just lunch, dinner, or coffee with them.”

Lanting’s relationship with many of these athletes has extended even after graduation, such that “Minsan, ni-visit nila ako sa office. Kamustahan kami.”

Mommy duties
Lanting would be the first one backing the La Salle athletes from any kind of hate-trade.

“Our student-athletes are not mayabang. Siguro lang dala niya yung pride pero not naman mayabang. One of the things I love about them is they listen.

“Sa ‘min kasi sa La Salle, we were trained as Lasallian formators. So, our focus is not just about winning, syempre our approach is holistic.”

Truly, Lanting has stepped in more than just the varsity’s tournament coordinator. It’s pure love, she points out.

“Ayaw ko nasasaktan mga yan physically and emotionally. Yung love ko sa kanila is like as if kadugo ko sila.”

In summary, it’s the kids that have made her stay on her job over time.

“I've thought of working abroad—well, I still do. Pero I can’t imagine myself na aalis na ‘ko. Sepanx!” she says.

“Sila nagpapa-stay sa ‘kin. I feel fulfilled kasi pag nakikita ko sila. And through them, nabe-bless ako.”

The goodbyes are also part of it all, she says. After this season, her Yeye and Ara are among those leaving her from her office at Enrique Razon. These Lady Spikers, plus the rest of the seniors who will finally graduate from their collegiate careers and move on.

“I feel sad, of course, every time someone leaves. But I always keep in my mind they will be fine. And I also prepared myself naman na dadating yung time na aalis sila. But for sure I will see them pa rin.”

“I'm happy to see them go din kasi I know they will be leaving with their diploma. That's the most important thing. I'm sure I will still see them. Sure, ako dadalwin ako ng mga yan,” she adds with a laugh. “Kaya I always pray that they end their playing career na memorable and masaya.”


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