UAAP Season 81 Finals: Hinding-hindi na kami makakaranas ng hirap – Rondina on sacrifice as breadwinner

Mark Escarlote on May 11, 2019 03:52 PM
Rondina: leader, student-athlete, breadwinner
Kasi pumunta ako rito (sa Maynila) na may hugot eh. Gusto ko talaga mapatunayan na kahit ganito lang ako, kahit mahirap kami, parang gusto kong ipakita sa lahat ng nawawalan ng pag-asa na hinding-hindi mangyayari ang gusto mo kung hindi mo gagalawan -- Sisi Rondina

When Sisi Rondina left her family in Cebu half a decade ago to pursue her studies at the University of Sto. Tomas as a student-athlete, she made a solemn vow.

Living in a difficult life growing up and seeing her parents try to make both ends meet, Rondina dreamed of a better life.

At a young age, she saw her mother leave for Brunei to seek greener pastures. A work abroad that kept Mommy Alona away from her family for 14 years. 

It may look like a longshot for a probinsyana, but Rondina’s determination and will are bigger than her 5-foot-6 frame.      

“Kasi before ako pumunta rito (sa Manila) sabi ko nga, ‘Hinding-hindi na kami makakaranas ng hirap’,” said the graduating open hitter. “Although hindi naman hirap na talagang naghihirap pero ayoko lang na makaramdaman na naranasan namin dati.”

Fast-forward to 2019, Rondina is now facing the biggest challenge in her collegiate career: a chance to bring the glory back to the Espana-based squad.

The Tigresses, on Rondina’s swan song, is back in the Finals after an eight-year absence facing Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball championship series.

The veteran is also set to earn the Season Most Valuable Player award to add to her collection of hardware in UAAP beach volleyball of four titles and four MVPs.

Unfortunately, Rondina won’t have her family with her to watch and cheer for her in the biggest stage of the country’s premier collegiate league.

The reason?

The same reason why she made her sacrifice to leave Cebu: fulfill her promise of giving her loved ones a better life.

“Hindi (sila makakanood). Actually gustong-gusto ko silang manood but unfortunately mas inuna ko ang bahay ko na binili. That’s why walang (budget sa pamasahe),” Rondina revealed. “Kasi wala kaming bahay so ayun nga nakapag-ipon at nakabili ng bahay.”

At 22, Rondina bought a pre-selling, 2-storey house in a subdivision in Compostela, Cebu all coming from her earnings in her stints in the Philippine Superliga with Foton and Petron and prize money from beach volleyball tournaments.

“Bumili ako ng bahay sa subdivision. Ipon ko talaga,” said Rondina.

“Sa lugar pa rin namin pero sa subdivision. Kasi ‘yung tinitirhan namin ay hindi sa amin eh. Doon pa rin kami (sa dating bahay) pero naghihintay na lang kami na ma-surrender kasi pre-selling lang siya. Phase 5 kami so baka next year or ngayong December kami (makakalipat). Basta ngayon inuunti-unti ko lang,” she added.

Rondina admitted that buying a house is a risky investment especially with the high price of the property but she will do her best and work hard for it.    

“Good for my family, ilan ba kami, anim. Actually, risky siya kasi anytime, actually mahal siya, pero yun na ang pinakamura para sa lugar namin. Kasi in demand ang lupa na yun. Sabi ko nga tyatyagain ko ‘to. Gagawin ko ang lahat para sa pamilya ko,” she said.

It was quite a challenge for Rondina, living away from her family in the bustling Big City, studying in one of the best universities in the country, coping with the physical demands of being a varsity athlete and trying to earn for a living.  

But it is a sacrifice she’s willing to take.

“Bale, niyakap ko ‘yung word na breadwinner eh. Ayokong ma-behind ‘yung family ko. Like if gusto ‘to nila, if gusto nila kumain ng ganito, OK I’ll give them. Kung hindi kailangan, ‘wag,” she said. “Ako sa sarili ko kung kailangan lang, basta tayo tipid muna tayo. Kasi sobrang family-oriented ako. Gusto ko lang talaga sa buhay to pay back to what my parents gave me.”

“Wala na rin akong (gusto), para sa kanila naman itong ginagawa ko. Hindi lang para sa sarili ko kasi sobrang mahal ko talaga sila,” she added.

Looking beyond volleyball, Rondina also wants to finish her Sports and Wellness Management course and eventually find a stable job if ever she decides to hang up her jersey.

“Kulang pa eh. Kasi gusto ko pa ring mapatunayan. Gusto kong magtrabaho hindi lang sa volleyball eh. Gusto ko magtrabaho na mayroon akong pupuntahan. Stable na trabaho,” she said.

“Kasi pumunta ako rito (sa Maynila) na may hugot eh. Gusto ko talaga mapatunayan na kahit ganito lang ako, kahit mahirap kami, parang gusto kong ipakita sa lahat ng nawawalan ng pag-asa na hinding-hindi mangyayari ang gusto mo kung hindi mo gagalawan. Do it with effort talaga. Hindi yung gagawin mo kasi yan lang ang gagawin mo, do it with effort. May hugot ba, ganoon ako eh,” Rondina preached.       

When she left Cebu, Rondina made a promise.

Now, Rondina is slowly realizing her dream and fulfilling her promise.

Whatever it takes.

 

---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

Latest News