8 Pinoy athletes rocking the long hair trend like a boss
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 27, 2017 05:52 PM
Sit down, Rafa Nadal. We’ve got our homegrown local sports figures who’ve got their man buns perfectly coiffed! (Photo by Rxandy Capinpin for Chalk Magazine)
The man bun only became a thing three years ago, and from the looks of how men are following it and how sports barbers have become more open to the idea recently, it’s a trend that isn’t going away soon. In the sports world, we’re not only talking about Joakim Noah as the master of this hairstyle. Because of the man bun, the long hair trend apparently remains relevant among athletes not just in basketball. While the classics like Dennis Rodman and modern heroes Gordon Hayward, Jeremy Lin, and, locally, Arnold van Opstal, say enough how much effort athletes put into their crown, there are also those who prefer their hair down, in beautiful, action shot-perfect disarray, as if a tribute to Rafael Nadal. Get to know the local athletes who have rocked the long hair like it’s nobody’s business!
The former UAAP MVP and Rookie of the Year and prized Gilas member from FEU used to only keep his full, spiky, blonde hair with a headband. PBA, a.k.a. growing up, has obviously done something to him with how Romeo now sports his hair. Currently, he prefers it sleek and in natural black. Think Chris Hemsworth and anyone from the hit Taiwanese band F4, something national team coach Tab Baldwin, too, found way better than Romeo’s hair before.
Speaking of the UAAP, remember when the Bulldogs’ resident boy-next-door Alejandro came into the Season 79 picture sporting cornrows? That’s how he had to work around his naturally full hair, which was too thick to manage if left without hair product (see his #wokeuplikethis posts on Instagram). Recently, he cleaned up his crown for that neat look—but who knows how he’ll experiment again once he gets into his final playing year in Season 80?
Another long-haired UAAP star is UP Maroons sophomore player Webb. The 80th Araw Ng Dabaw Commercial Basketball Tournament champ played on his rookie year with a buzzcut, only to grow it in the following season. Couple his perfectly coiffed locks with his TV commercial-ready looks, and you’ve got a heartthrob, something that’s not new to his folks and erstwhile UAAP stars Joshua and Jason.
He has long sported that iconic samurai-like hair in a ponytail, which Rob Reyes even compared to Rambo’s. But the Meralco Bolts big man now keeps it neat, clean enough to make him a family-friendly figure online—he is often seen fulfilling his papathlete duties by being cute with his daughter on Instagram. The boxed beard has stayed on, though, to maintain all that macho we’ve always known of him.
Another Meralco veteran who seems to have made long hair a timeless trend is Papa Rey. UAAP commentator Mico Halili even called him out online in jest saying he should emulate Elfrid Payton’s for a change instead.
Rio De la Cruz
An elite runner, coach, and basically a champion of local running through his race organizations, Coach Rio has always been picture-perfect on the track with his Afro hair. When did that trademark hairstyle come to be? Since college, he said in a previous interview, as he tried to conceal a bald spot on the right of his head. That whole cluster of hair is so iconic it’s also the logo of his running series, Run Rio Trilogy.
When you say surfer, you think of some tanned dude sporting long hair whose fit body has been sun dried and dirtied in sand. That’s basically describing Ladrigan on a weekday, the Fil-Aussie having won an Asian Beach Games silver, teaching at San Juan Surf School, and being an ambassador of surfing apparel brands. He’s known for his curly locks, complemented with his gritty short-boxed beard.