Enchong Dee on letting go of his Olympics dreams

Barry Viloria on Aug 22, 2016 09:25 PM
Enchong Dee on letting go of his Olympics dreams
‘No regrets, just love,’ he could only muster. (Photos by Vyn Radovan)

He could have been his generation’s Jessie Lacuna, who’s currently competing at the Rio Olympics today. But the dream of representing the country in an age-old giant sports event was put to the backburner indefinitely and then to total neglect eventually once Enchong Dee got real with showbiz 10 years ago.

“I have to admit I’ve had a few regrets,” Dee said at the recently held Chalk Campus Tour at Miriam College on Monday. He was answering a question from a member of the audience if he feels sorry about his Olympics dreams. This followed his talk on how he used to manage to balance school and sports as a college student before.

The actor was, of course, a competitive swimmer before all this. And a multi-decorated one, at that. The Naga City native lived the student-athlete life at the De La Salle University, and was able to lead his Alma Mater to a gold in the men’s swimming event. He, too, nabbed three straight MVP titles during his collegiate career. Outside Taft, he also represented the Philippines in the SEA Games and Asian Games. He was already taking acting stints then, but went full-time with it right after graduation. He signed up for more projects later on and would grow to be a resident matinee idol via hit shows Katorse, Maria La Del Barrio, and Ina, Kapatid, Anak. He would also join reality show Pinoy Big Brother last year.

More years after, two albums, various movies and TV shows, and two Olympics seasons past, Dee knows that some decisions just had to be made.

“I have to remind myself why I did this 10 years ago. Hindi sa pagmamayabang but I was able to achieve many things by 23. I had my first resto this year, I was able travel to places I’ve never been to in the past. I am able to talk to speak to students like you, and most of all help my parents in the finances,” he said rather proudly.

Dee may have left the poolside to pursue something else, but he still knows a thing or two about rising above the common struggles among student-athletes. Take it from him, as he wasn’t too shy admitting that he would even sleep in class to catch up on his rest time. When another member of the audience asked how he was able to manage juggling school, sports, and screen life, he could only turn in some wise words.

“It's a difficult task to be focusing on sports and academics, but trust me it's gonna be worth it!

“It will pay off in the future. Walang bagay na worth it and hindi mahirap makuha.”

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