Davao, Philippines with Beach Volleyball Republic

I never actually played in a competitive beach volleyball tourney before and this was the perfect time for me to start. Beach Volleyball Republic is a beach volley organization here in the Philippines that strives to grow the game without all the crappy politics that come with sports. They travel to different places and hold clinics for different towns as well as hold tournaments so that other islands are exposed to the sport, and most importantly because they’re so passionate to help people.

Davao, Yes President Duterte’s Hood, Where I FLEW IN AN ULTRA-LIGHT!!!

Basically the only way to describe this “plane” is a go-kart, mixed with a fan as an engine, mixed with a glider. Totes trustworthy, I know. I got to fly during the sunset, but unfortunately my flight got cut short (about 12 min instead of 15 min) because the sunset really does happen fast in the Philippines. When I was up there I couldn’t even speak words because I was just awed and amazed at how beautiful life is- just get the tissue box out already! But really though, I hope you guys experience this at least once in your life.

The Tourney.

Day 1… Bre, my teammate for Pocari Sweat, was my beach partner. She had plenty of experience before, thank goodness! Our first match was supposed to start at 10:00 am, but we did not play until 2:00 pm, which delayed our second and final match of the day to 5:30 pm when the sun sets quickly! We were playing beach in the dark, no extra lights around hahaha. But honestly WE KILLED IT! Day 1 in the books, celebrated with good food and we acted like the young 20-something-year-olds like we are. Day 2… Thanks to Dzi and Kate’s amazing beach game combined with my lack of experience, Bre and I got our butts handed to. But we became the real winners because we got to sit in the shade and eat yummy food, chill out, and not stress about not having to play next- HA!

Island hopping

Guys… The waters and white sand beaches of Davao took my breath away. I’ve never seen such vivid bllue colors of the ocean and I could not believe my eyes at all! It took a while to get to most places, boat rides to different islands ranged from 30-60 minutes. We took lots of pictures, got some color in the sun, and just lived the beach life. I’ll link a video of my Davao adventure right here, you just gotta travel there to see all its beauty!

 

Adventure Awaits.

-IT

Qatar Travels

Some teammates and I were invited to play in another exhibition match in September, this time in Qatar! Never in a million years did I ever think I would have the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, especially to play some volley! Here’s what our schedule looked like on our arrival day :

Land in Doha 2 am, get to hotel 3:45 am, press conference (yes) at 4 am (yeah, I know), sleep until 9, breakfast, practice 10-11, lunch, free time, game time 5 pm.

My body has never been so angry at me. Oh wait… Then Mr. Food Poisoning made its appearance for the first time in my life at a very wrong time. The day before we left Manila I now recall eating a cheeseburger that smelled different than normal, but I was a silly hungry hippo and ate it anyway. Although I know you’d all love to hear about how I had to run to the restroom about every hour or every time I consumed anything, I’ll save the lovely details for myself. Bummer, I know.

THE HEAT WAS SO REAL, BUT SO WAS THE AMAZING ARCHITECTURE.

Mel and I decided to explore the area around us before we had to leave for the game. We were so excited to explore and look at beautiful buildings all around us. We even got so serious about it that we borrowed an umbrella from the hotel (shoutout to our awesome Melia Hotel), you know, looking like Asian tourists. We took some awesome pictures even though we were sweating profusely, but we kept saying it’s all for the experience and it was so worth it! We headed back to the hotel and obviously the very next thing we did was ate some delicious food at the buffet! I personally was trying to be careful about what I was eating, but let’s get real, you can’t turn down the imported cheese & cracker table- and you definitely can’t turn down a cup of sangria! Let’s not forget about dessert…

GAME TIME- MY SETTER DREAM CAME TRUE

Unfortunately one of our outside hitters was not able to make the trip, but that left an opportunity open for someone else to step up to the plate… the little Setter in me jumps with joy every time I think of doing serve receive and attacking… Michele, who’s our opposite, started playing OH for the first half of the match, while I played OPP. Personally I love playing OPP AND I’ve done it before in recreational games, but never in an actual match. The second half Michele and I switched and we freaking killed it hellerrrr! Shoutout to all the coaches who taught me how to be proficient in all positions of volley hahaha. I mean we lost for the first time against this team, but that will never take away a huge accomplishment from me!

PACK. NO CAMELS. SHOP. BYE.

We were supposed to go camel riding at 4 am the day after playing, but our organizer of the event wasn’t there to pick us up so… no camel ride… we ended up touring some of Doha and going to the Vellagio Mall, which reminded me of the Venetian Hotel in Vegas! It was cool, but I was only able to afford groceries and souvenir goodies at the supermarket. Although the Americana in me wishes I could’ve stopped by Starbucks to buy a Qatar or Doha mug like I usually do when visiting a new place. Anyway, we buy our stuff, head back to the hotel, scarf the Dominoes pizza down, and rush to the airport.