My blog has to start with my story of the Volleyball game of the Ateneo Lady Eagles and the DLSU Lady Spikers. I am personally not accustomed to watching volleyball games. In fact, it was just my second time to watch a volleyball game in the UAAP. In Ateneo, the event given the most attention would be the basketball games, so this experience is entirely new to me.
The event I have chosen to observe was the DLSU Lady Spikers’ celebratory dinner after their game against Ateneo last February 9 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The DLSU lady spikers had a good game, winning three consecutive sets in their game. My key informant in this event was my friend’s father, Mr. Galvez who works for the company Global Port. Global Port currently manages and sponsors the DLSU Lady Spikers.
Since Global Port gave our tickets, my friend and I from Ateneo also had to wear white during the game instead of wearing blue and we were on the La Salle side, also clapping and cheering for the La Salle players. It was weird for us to do so since of course, we wanted to cheer for Ateneo! Personally, it felt wrong but we had to deal with it. During the game, I kind of felt bummed because the people around us were rooting for La Salle and the fact that Ateneo was losing consecutively. Watching the game was fun, and it felt almost too intense. Everyone around me was cheering their lungs out with their eyes never leaving the middle of the court just like a predator closely watching its prey
After the game, with a disappointed heart, we waited for the arena to be almost empty, and we actually got to set foot on the court itself because Mr. Galvez had access. It felt almost surreal, I was trying to imagine myself in the middle of the arena, being watched by thousands of people and I just can’t imagine how I would handle that kind of pressure. Soon after, we left the arena and started walking to Buffet 101, which was 2 blocks away. During our walk, Mr. Galvez and his other officemate accompanied us and while walking they were juts talking about how well the DLSU lady Spikers did and they really seemed pleased about it. I think I have to give it to them though, since they were really good.
We arrived the restaurant before everyone else did because my key informant, Mr. Galvez had to make sure everything was set first before the players arrived. Soon after, more people arrived like people from Global Port, the coaches with all their happy faces and pleased comments. We then started eating and getting food and after a while, the players arrived and we welcomed them with a huge round of applause, making people rom the other tables stop eating and stare at what was happening. The players were all showered and changed now, but had the same smiles as everyone else.
The dinner was filled with praises here and there for the team as well as getting introduced to different people from Global Port. The atmosphere felt light and positive. They were pretty accommodating, asking us where we go to school although chuckling jokingly when we answered that we were from Ateneo. During the dinner, people around us were just talking about how gret their players were, like “this player was so good in blocking”, “she gave deadly spikes” etc. I also got to meet Global Port’s owner’s niece and girlfriend, who were the same age as us and we just talked about random things. This made me feel at ease even if the crowd around me was actually the rival team. Even if that was the case, I still enjoyed and had a good dinner.
After the dinner, the owner of Global Port, arrived at the place and he was introduced to the players for it was the first time they actually got to meet him in person. He was also welcomed with cheers and he made a mini speech and they started taking pictures after. They all seemed giddy and excited. After all, this was their sponsor so they actually kind of had to act thankful and happy.
We also got to take a picture with the team which I will post below. I also got to talk to one of their best players, Michelle, and she was friends and she also seemed surprise when we answered we were from Ateneo, not La Salle. Despite knowing this though, it didn’t seem to bother her or annoy her.
Hours into the dinner, the chatter seemed to die down but it was still observable in the faces of the people around that they were happy, even the happy kind of tired. The whole experience gave me an idea how fulfilled the players felt after again, and I also go to realize how much pressure they get and also the hard work they put in in every game.
I got to see how the team celebrates victory not just from merely seeing them celebrate on the court after winning a game. It’s also a clearer view of how their families and sponsors celebrate their victory as well. Having the chance to observe more closely, I realized the affect of their victory not only to the team but also to their families and the other people involved. Actually, I myself even got to celebrate with them as well. This was all possible of course because of my key informant, Mr. Galvez just helped me gain access and also explain and introduce me to the people around so I’d be aware of what was happening.
Without being there personally wouldn’t have given me the chance to actually feel the happy vibe their team and supporters exhibited. I mean, I wasn’t part of the team, and I’m obviously not a supporter but their exuberance was felt in the whole room and it was good. It’s amazing how even though I am not really celebrating, their feelings and happiness radiated to me also. This wouldn’t have been felt if it was just a survey or an interview. A survey would’ve gotten more direct but impersonal answers. Using surveys would be better than using participant observation to get statistics and quantitative data because they’re more direct or straight to the point , which is the kind of data needed for statistics.
114442 BS CTM