Belangel shedding shyness with help of Tiktok

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 25, 2020 03:43 PM
Belangel shedding shyness with help of Tiktok
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

SJ Belangel was never one to make noise – literally. 

In his four years in Ateneo de Manila, two in high school and two in college, he has just let his primetime playmaking do all the talking for him. 

And along with being softspoken, the now 20-year-old is as courteous as they come – as the tons and tons of "sirs" and "maams" in reporters' recordings of his interviews would attest. 

In fact, as a rookie Blue Eagle, coaches had to make it a point for Belangel to stop calling his teammates "kuya." "Si SJ kasi calls everybody 'kuya.' It's not na we don't want them to respect each other, but ang hirap, especially for SJ if he's gonna be the point guard and he's gonna command his teammates," assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga said then. 

He then continued, "We want him to get rid of that reverence na 'kuya' kita." 

Little by little, the 6-foot guard did just that and now entering his third year, is ready and raring to take on more responsibility for the three-time defending champions. 

That upped confidence, apparently, has also extended to somewhere off-court. 

To be specific, a brand new Belangel has been making appearances – and making noise – on Tiktok. 


The Ateneo court general has been one of the more noteworthy athletes to be making use of the emerging platform – and that a pleasant surprise considering his demeanor. "I really don't know na magiging ganito po," he said. 

He then continued, "Shy type talaga akong tao sa labas, pero the more na maging close po sa akin, siguro, the more na makikita kung gaano talaga ako kakulit." 

Indeed, Belangel has been putting his kulit in full display as of late. 

"Nung una, nakita ko lang po 'to sa cellphone ko tas natuwa ako kaya sinabi ko sa girlfriend kong gawa rin kami," he shared. "Okay naman sa kanya kaya gumawa na nga kami. Basically, nung una, para sa aming dalawa lang, pangkatuwaan lang." 

Now, Tiktok has become a way for the Bacolod native to express himself – and at the same time, get to smile in the face of COVID-19. "Nakakatulong ang Tiktok kapag bored ka. If you want to relax and laugh, Tiktok is the app," he said. 

In the eyes of Belangel, though Tiktok is much more than just having fun. As he put it, "It's a good thing din para makapag-exercise kasi may mga sayaw, may mga sample workout, and more. Also, makakatulong ka sa pag-inform ng mga tao gamit yun." 

He then continued, "Maraming mga tao na doon na pumupunta ngayon so you can tell them about things they need to do during quarantine." 

In the end, Tiktok has become a chance for all of us to get to know more about the Blue Eagles' next great point guard – and all of it has been nothing but a joy to watch. 


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. 

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