Victor Uy – 114130 SA21:Y
As a little boy, I was never really the type who would stay in at home; I would always be missing and be playing around the village with my friends. Everyday, I’d go biking, run around the village, play street games with my friends, and play basketball. Since the basketball court was just in front of our house, it was highly accessible to me, so much so that whenever I got home from school, I’d change into my sports clothes and go directly to the court and play. Surely, I fell in love with basketball. When I was in grade four, I tried out for our school’s basketball team. Bragging aside, I knew I was better than most of those who tried out, but since I was a new student in La Salle (LSGH), I didn’t really know a lot of people and I didn’t have a brother who played in the team, so no one backed me up. In short, I was cut off in the selection. The next year, I tried out again, only to be cut off for the second time and I believe that it was because of the same reason. I was so frustrated and heartbroken.
The next year, volleyball was introduced to us in the Physical Education program. Since I was a fairly athletic kid, I got the hang of the game pretty quickly. My PE coach noticed my potential – because I was really aerodynamic; hence, I jumped quite high – and asked me if I wanted to try out for the school’s team. I didn’t really grab the offer at first, but then I told myself: “what’s there to lose? I’ll give it a shot”. I tried out, but I knew that my heart was still with basketball. Fast-forwarding a little bit, I was accepted into the team and I eventually had regular trainings with them. Without me noticing it, I fell in love with the sport – and this was the start of my passion for volleyball.
I was in sixth grade when I joined my first league as a player for LSGH. Ever since sixth grade until I graduated high school, my after-school hours were dedicated to training. I knew that I loved what I was doing, and I knew that I wanted to play in the Collegiate UAAP. I even trained with the Men’s Volleyball Team of Ateneo until before my freshman year started. However, I made a decision that changed my life as a student-athlete. I felt like I wouldn’t be having time for other stuff – to experience the “normal” college life. I contemplated for a while and then ultimately decided to set aside my dream of playing; I told myself that I could just play anytime in some of the organized games by ex-varsities. It wasn’t an easy decision per se. I was used to the routines of a volleyball player, but I knew that change could be good.
Beach volleyball back when i was in 3rd year HS 🙂
When college started, I was barely able to play. I got the chance to play volleyball whenever my fellow alumni from LSGH would organize a “reunion” through a volleyball game, since I began to be busy with other stuff. I knew that in Ateneo, there’s this organization under the AIC – the Ateneo Volleyball Club – but I was reluctant of joining for I thought that I’d lose time for my friends and what not. A high school teammate of mine, Jarvis, continued training with Ateneo’s Men’s Volleyball Team and from time to time, he also plays with the Volleyball Club. One day, he asked me if I wanted to join them sometime in playing. Without hesitation, I said yes. I’d finally be able to play after a long while! I played with them a week ago; and upon entering the court area, I felt so nostalgic, for I was able to compete against some of the members when I was still in high school. They play on a regular basis – MWF, from 4:30-7:30. We actually arrived the court at around 5:30, so there was still some sort of daylight and the lights of the covered courts weren’t turned on yet. While waiting for the on going game to be finished, I got to chat with one of the players from our then rival team – Ateneo High School. We chatted and caught up, reminisced the good ol’ days on how we trash-talked each other’s teams. Some people that I knew from high school were even surprised to see me playing for they thought that I was in the university’s team. I got along with most, if not all, of them quite easily for we shared the love for the same sport.
When I got to the covered courts
When it was our turn to play and enter the court, I felt so happy. I realized how I missed playing volleyball and how it used to be my life. My former high school teammate, Jarvis, was my teammate in most of the games and he did a good job in making me feel welcome. He told me that I should just keep calm and do my thing in the court for he knew that people from the club would be very hospitable. Also, since I did not have Ateneo jerseys, I played in my old LSGH uniform. People around me were making fun of me – like how I’m a “traitor” for studying college in the blue school and simply because my jersey had the La Salle logo.
It was really a pleasure to have played the sport that I love again after a long while. Even if it’s not my first love as a sport, I know that it will forever have a place in my heart. After that experience of playing with the Volleyball Club, I’m also planning to play with them in a more regular basis. Come next semester, I’ll be spending more time playing; hopefully I’ll have more time – or actually, I’m going to find time.
After the game with Jarvis, my high school teammate
1. What insights were gained from participation compared to just observing?
When I played with the club, I realized how badly I miss playing volleyball. Since it’s a sport, it’s one thing to just watch others play, and a whole different thing to be able to play it. I also realized that it’s a good way to release tension and stress after a long day in school, so much so that spiking the ball really relieves you. Whenever I watch the games – be it live or on television – I couldn’t help but imagine myself in a blue-and-white uniform, playing for my school.
2. What did having a key informant add to your understanding?
For the most part, I think my key informant, Jarvis, did a great job in making me feel welcome to play with the club. He introduced me to the officers of the club, which I couldn’t have done without him. That being said, I was more comfortable around them for I knew someone that was one of them. I was able to get details about the club’s activities, projects such as the Ateneo Open Tournament, fees, PE exemption and other stuff.
3. What was learned from participant observation at this event that a questionnaire or interview about it might miss?
Having been able to play face-to-face with the other players can never be paralleled by and interview or by answering a questionnaire. The experience itself is quite fantastic, so the muscle pains the day after are so much worth it. Another thing is that through participant observation, you really get to feel the actual environment of the event, especially because you get to interact, on a first-hand basis, with the other players.
4. For what purposes might a questionnaire or interview be better than participant observation?
I guess when it comes to quite sensitive information; a questionnaire in which names can be optional is the best way to go. Some people might be uncomfortable being observed, especially in situations that they feel vulnerable. Also, in interviews and questionnaires, the questions to be asked are usually fixed. The wording of the queries will be a crucial part, as compared to a participant observation where anything goes. Interviews will surely serve its purpose better when you’re trying to gather extensive information on a specific topic such as issues on health (e.g. interview with a health practitioner or a doctor). A questionnaire would be ideal if you’re just conducting a survey and you want to tally the number of similar answers after, then eventually get a percentage.
La Salle vs Ateneo lol