IN HER RUNNING SHOES
FAMILY AND FITNESS COME FIRST FOR SPORTSCASTER AND LIFESTYLE HOST DYAN CASTILLEJO- GARCIA.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY Toto Labrador INTERVIEW BY Samantha Ramos-Zaragoza
Whenever Filipino athletes emerge victorious in any part of the globe, acclaimed sportscaster Dyan Castillejo-Garcia is there to report the good news. For Dyan, this is her passion—the marriage of active lifestyle and the ability to fuel national pride through her breaking sports coverage in the country and abroad.
Wife to Anton Garcia and mother to Matthew, Dyan makes sure she dedicates time to her family despite her busy schedule. She may be an icon for sports and fitness, but for the Southern Living cover shoot, she donned glamorous dresses and high heels instead of her usual running suit and rubber shoes.
What are the shows and businesses you are involved in right now?
I’ve been the host of Sports Unlimited for 14 years now, and I’m also the Senior Sports Correspondent in ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol, Bandila, ANC, Umagang Kay Ganda and IbaBalita. I’m also the boxing anchor for ABSCBN’s boxing events. I’m also an endorser and distributor of Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass. I was already using the product before I became an endorser, so when they made me their endorser and distributor, it was easy to push since it’s something I really use.
What do you love about your work?
I’m super into it. I love reporting the victories of Filipinos abroad and here. I can’t help but feel pride for our country. I get to bring Matthew with me too, like in Sports Unlimited. I’m thankful to God my work is very much in line with what I am passionate about, even though it’s very tough. I have to move a lot, there are strict deadlines, and a lot of traveling. It’s a good kind of busy. Hopefully there will be more victories in Philippine sports because sports is really something that is most of the time positive—it inspires people, invigorates, unifies, and of course [advocates] health. I try to be positive in my shows, and be someone people will look forward to watching.
From being an athlete to a sportscaster, who or what influenced you to get into sports?
My grandfather on my mom’s side was the first national tennis champion of the Philippines in 1925. My father’s a track champion in La Salle and he holds the record for the 150-meter dash. He later became a member of the Philippine National Football Team, and he played in the Asian Games and then became manager of the Philippine Football Team. And then later on after his football career, he went into car racing. I didn’t get the chance to meet my grandfather but I guess I got the athletic genes from both my mom and dad’s sides. At an early age, my dad immersed us in sports. We started with swimming, and then I played a little football, then pelota, and then tennis.
Do you also push your family to lead a healthy lifestyle?
I really try to give my son a good nutritional start. I breastfed for three years. I would pureé vegetables for him and never really gave him any canned stuff. If he has a good foundation, later on when, for example, he goes to a friend’s party and he sees kids eating different stuff, he’ll know if it’s good for him or not. I instill in him at least the knowledge of what is healthy and what is not. For me, even if it’s 80% healthy and 20% not, I always tell him he can have the bad stuff but just once in a while.
Do you still find time to exercise despite your busy schedule?
What I do is if I’m in Manila and I don’t have
FOR ME, OF THE BEST A YOUNG CHILD
CAN DO A LOT IT’S LIKE YOU SOMETHING THAT IT’S GREEN, FRESH
work or a flight booked early, I spend time with Matthew in the morning, and then I take him to school. After that, that’s when I exercise. But for the most part I try to get my exercise in the morning so that it’s done, then you feel better for the rest of the day.
How do you balance your time with your family and with work?
It’s really, really hard, and it’s a daily prayer of mine because I love spending time with my kid, my husband, and my parents who are both elderly. Every time I’m done with work, I go home na talaga. I try as much as possible, to bring Matthew with me when I work in Sports Unlimited. No matter how late I sleep, I always wake up early to be with Matthew before school. It’s a major prayer for me and I’m trying to do the best that I can.
What do you do to relax and pamper yourself?
I started going to Belo about two to three years ago. I do sun spot removal treatments and I’ve done a rejuvenation treatment, which is non-surgical. And then I get a lot of home massage. For my hair, because I’m always in the ocean and I like to keep my hair long, I do this treatment in Franck Provost in Alabang.
So what’s your ‘girly’ side? Do you enjoy trying out new trends when you’re not in your sporty look?
It’s funny, I used to travel with my tennis racket. Now I travel with my makeup. Even if I’m in sports, I still try to dress up. I’d like to think of myself as sporty elegant. I use different brands, and they don’t always have to be expensive. Now I’m more open to experimenting with clothes. Like sometimes, someone will tell me, ‘Oh, you should try this!’ I sometimes think it’s not my style, but when I put it on, it looks good pala. I’m trying to be more adventurous than that. I’m very picky about shoes. I like to wear high heels when I’m dressed up, and, of course, I have my rubber shoes for sporty wear. Since I’m on my feet a lot, I’m constantly looking for shoes that are high, stylish, and relatively comfortable. I buy a lot of shoe pads (laughs).
What do you love about living in Alabang?
I lived in the North all my life. But after I had my kid, I moved to Alabang because the air fresher. For me, it’s one of the best places to raise a young child in because you can do a lot of activities. And on weekends, I love to go around to run, swim, or bike. When you have a kid, and then you experience living there in the South, it’s like you go home to something that is relaxed. It’s green, fresh and I really love it.