Every UP student-athlete has to make a lot of sacrifices, from hard training to managing their time, to reach their goals in both sports and school.
People from the countryside and other countries also have to deal with being away from their families and loved ones for most of the year.
Because they are so focused on their jobs and getting their degrees, it is easy for necessary time with important people to get lost in the middle of everything.
But members of the UP Men’s Basketball Team are lucky because Converge ICT Solutions Inc. gives them a hand by putting high-speed internet in their dorms to talk to their families from far away.
Filipino-Canadian Antonio Eusebio and Filipino-American Henry Galinato Jr. had the most trouble getting used to life in another country when they took charge of the Maroons.
Even though they agree that living on their own is hard, they can make adjustments with the help of Converge and technology.
“At first, it was hard, but I think I’ve learned everything I needed to learn by now, and things are much better. I’m getting along better, “Eusebio said that when he misses a video call, his mother gets mad. “They all stick close.”
“It’s hard, but Zav [Lucero] helped me when I was here, so I got used to it. But, you know, I miss my mom and everyone over there. I’m much older now, so it’s not as hard as it would have been a few years ago. I probably would have had a much harder time, but it’s not that bad [with technology]. I’m not leaving for good, at least that’s how I see it “quipped Galinato.
Janjan Felicilda, a newcomer to UP, also talked about how flexible Converge’s internet is, especially since COVID-19 is still a threat and makes it hard to see family in person.
“Syempre malaking bagay sa amin yun kaya nagpapasalamat kami sa Converge na napadali yung pag-communicate namin sa mga magulang namin, sa mga mahal namin sa buhay lalo na syempre, may COVID parin so pinadali nila yung buhay namin,” he said.
Reyland Torres, for his part, said that he would only get to see his family twice a year because of how far away they lived. Being able to talk to people back home over the internet helps people feel less homesick.
“Yung family ko halos twice a year lang kami magkasama kaya sobrang nagpapasalamat ako sa internet na binigay sa amin, makapag-usap kami ng family ko kahit malayo sila sa amin and araw-araw minemake sure namin makausap sila, kung okay lang sila. Okay lang din ba kami dito, “Torres said.
Felicilda is from Butuan, and Torres is from the city of Bacolod.
It is very important for the Fighting Maroons to be able to talk to their families on a regular basis. Since many of them say that their families are the thing that drives them the most.
“Important role yung parents ko sa pangarap ko kasi sila nagbibigay sa akin ng motivation, simula pa nung bata ako, sila na yung palaging nagsusupporta sa akin. Sila yung laging nasa likod ko pag gusto ko abutin yung pangarap ko, “Harold Alarcon, who is also from Bacolod, made a joke about it.
“Sobrang laking bagay nila kasi sila yung nagpupush sa amin araw araw para mabuhay, para maglaro tapos may kukuhanan ka ng lakas para magpursigi sa buhay,” added Davao-born Cyril Gonzales.
JD Cagulangan, a UP folk hero from Butuan City, says that even though they haven’t seen their family in person for most of their lives as student-athletes, their love can be felt from miles away through Converge.
“Yung support laging nandyan, yung mga kuya ko, even yung mga relatives ko, nararamdaman yung support nila sa akin,” Cagulangan said.
With Converge’s newest service, customers get twice as much fast internet for their money. The FiberX Plan 1500 now gives users up to 100Mbps, up from 50Mbps.
Keep fighting the distance like the Fighting Maroons did with fast and reliable internet.
The reigning UAAP champions went to South Korea to prepare for the upcoming season. They have played tune-up games against professional teams as part of their training.
“Sa amin, sobrang laking tulong [nung games dito sa Korea] kasi yung mga kalaban namin, mga pro na. Malaking bagay talaga,” said Cagulangan.