If heaven was personalized, Sisi Rondina's must be made of sand

Danine Cruz on Oct 07, 2018 06:41 PM
If heaven was personalized, Rondina's must be made of sand
For Sisi, the sands where sweat and sunburn exist is her heaven.

If heaven was personalized, Sisi Rondina's must be made of sand.

At 20-16, University of Santo Tomas at matchpoint, rookie Blove Barbon served and it fell on De La Salle University's Mich Morente. Tin Tiamzon rushed near the net to set it back to Morente as the latter softly pushed the ball back on UST's side.

Rondina caught it easily and passed it to the rookie. Barbon sent the ball very high. It was as if she was setting Rondina up for an emphatic championship spike to end not only the season but her collegiate career in the sands.

But Rondina just slightly jumped, avoided the blocking Tiamzon, and dropped the ball down the line. Simple and easy.

That was the championship point, the point that closed Rondina's stellar college career. Because in heaven, things are supposed to be easy, right?

"Sabi nga sa kanta, may dulo pala ang langit. Kung pwede lang na maglaro pa ako for UST, why not? Pero wala eh, may limit talaga," said Rondina who made the UAAP sands her heaven for five years. 

"Nag-sink in sa akin na wala na, hindi na ulit ako makakapasok diyan [sa buhangin sa UAAP]," she added, "Pero okay lang kasi may katapusan talaga."

After the point was called, Rondina just pointed at the area where the ball landed then gave Barbon a high five and a hug. No screaming, no laughing, no tears. Rondina was stoic.

But it wasn't because this championship is just another one on her long list of beach volleyball achievements.

It wasn't because it was nothing new. It was because she already bawled her eyes out hard on the eve of the game and her tear ducts seemed to have nothing left.

"Parang naubos ko yata kagabi [yung iyak ko.] Ngayon wala eh. Pero kagabi sobrang iyak ko," she explained with a grin, "Kanina nung nanalo na kami, lumabas na 'yun eh. Nawala ulit."

Of course she is bound to shed a tear. In her five years in the sands, aside from making beach volleyball look easy, she achieved four eliminations sweeps, four MVPs, and four championships.

This season's may just be another entry on her long list but Rondina still thinks this one is special.

"Special siyempre kasi aalis na ako. Last year ko na and may binigay pa si Lord sa akin so thankful. Itong trophy na 'to para sa mga taong hindi kami iniwan," she said before specifying her coaches and her family from Cebu.

As early as the first day of UAAP Season 81, Rondina expressed that all she wants is a good exit. Seven game days after, with a gold medal and an MVP trophy she sure did get what she wanted. UST earned a superstar in her.

For Rondina, the sands where sweat and sunburn exist is her heaven.

This heaven of hers is also where she feels the most alive.

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