FHM (Philippines) - - Buddies We Love - Amanda Villanueva


So you watch vol­ley­ball—maybe for rea­sons other than the sport it­self.

We get it. The women are such a joy to watch.

Noth­ing against the men’s vol­ley­ball team—they pack dy­na­mite in their jumps and their kills, but… there’s the women’s vol­ley­ball team.

When these women do bat­tle, you know that they own the court. Don’t you just love it when they fix their hair be­fore the ball is served? Or how, when­ever they score a point, they cry out in glee as high fives are given, the same glee that they ex­press when, say, they see their bffs. It hurts to see them skid on the floor only to miss the ball, but you can’t help but think it’s badass, too.

It’s all right to ad­mit that you barely un­der­stand what’s hap­pen­ing dur­ing a game; but when you get to watch these women in ac­tion, you can’t help but be in­vested in what they’re do­ing. That is why it helps that pro­fes­sional vol­ley­ball player and for­mer Adam­son Falcon Amanda Villanueva was able to talk about some game rudi­ments as we pre­pared for, not a game, but an FHM photo shoot, some­thing we have all longed to see Amanda do apart from hit­ting balls on the court or at the beach.

“I’m an open spiker. What I do ba­si­cally are digs and re­ceives. As for the set­ters, siya yung kum­baga tinatawag na mas­ter of the game. Siya

ang may hawak ng game; she or he

con­trols it. If the libero or who’s at the back has no re­ceive, au­to­mat­i­cally it would be the out­side hit­ters. As for the quick­ers na­man, the mid­dle, they do block­ings, that’s their spe­cialty and they do very quick runs, quick plays para sir­ain ang mo­men­tum. In vol­ley­ball, it’s all about break­ing the mo­men­tum. The goal is to con­fuse block­ers, kailan­gan mawala mo sila.

Ka­pag yung play mo nag-work, isa lang yung blocker mo so it’s eas­ier to kill.” Amanda ex­plains.

She also ex­plained to us why, when a vol­ley­ball coach calls time out, all he does is say, “re­lax lang kayo!” and noth­ing about set­ting up plays on a white­board like a bas­ket­ball coach would.

“We also do strate­gic [plays], like place plan­ning be­fore the game. But dur­ing the game kasi that’s what coaches would usu­ally do, help the team to re­lax and help them men­tally.

Yun lang ang nakikita ng mga tao on cam,” Amanda says.

If you’ve been fol­low­ing UAAP women’s vol­ley­ball you know that Amanda was Queen Falcon dur­ing her time as an ath­lete in Adam­son Univer­sity. And many peo­ple would agree that she wasn’t just the school’s top player, she was also its face.

“I con­sider my time in Adam­son as one of the high­lights of my vol­ley­ball ca­reer, kasi nag-cham­pion kami. We re­ally worked hard for it. We trained twice a day—beach vol­ley in the morn­ing and then in­door in the af­ter­noon un­til evening. It was a rou­tine: you wake up, you play beach vol­ley, you eat, you go to school and then af­ter, in­door na­man,” Amanda re­calls.

In­ter­est­ingly, vol­ley­ball wasn’t Amanda’s first sport.

“I used to play badminton and I tried play­ing ten­nis as well but they didn’t work out. When I got into vol­ley­ball in high school, that’s when I re­al­ized I liked the idea of team dy­nam­ics. I didn’t like badminton so much kasi parang there was no fun

kasi in­di­vid­ual sport. When I tried vol­ley­ball na group sport so­brang

nag-en­joy ako. I’ve been play­ing for 10 years now and I still en­joy it, the feel­ing is still the same as when I started,” Amanda says.

Amanda is also known to make a killing at the beach vol­ley­ball cir­cuit. While she ex­cels both on court and on shore, she has a soft spot for beach vol­ley.

“I like it kasi so­brang chillax. It’s also eas­ier to com­mu­ni­cate as we play the game, kasi you only have a part­ner, syem­pre sa in­door there’s 14 of you. Sa beach, I just need to build my re­la­tion­ship with my part­ner and we’re set to go. Also—let’s let’s put it this way—i feel sexy when I play beach vol­ley. I can ex­press my­self more,” Amanda says.

And it shows. Taut body, tanned skin, grace­ful move­ment—amanda has it in spades. But what we don’t see is the higher level of dif­fi­culty she faces when play­ing beach vol­ley.

“You need to con­sider a lot of things, like the el­e­ments: the air, the sun, the sand. You can’t run as fast or jump as high, you need to carry your legs. The game­play is also very dif­fer­ent; beach vol­ley is slower,” Amanda says.

Apart from play­ing, Amanda is now also in­volved in de­vel­op­ing Adam­son’s sports pro­gram, not only for vol­ley­ball but also for bas­ket­ball and the pep squad.

“I help in their re­cruit­ment, in scout­ing play­ers. What I look for, apart from skills, is the win­ning at­ti­tude. I don’t just get you be­cause you’re great but be­cause I want you to be great. I want to see con­sis­tency—like, you need to ac­cept the role that’s given to you and you have to play your best ev­ery day. Hindi yung, I’m go­ing to do it to­day, pero to­mor­row, hindi na. Sport is re­ally all about con­sis­tency,” Amanda says.

If it isn’t a ca­reer in sports still af­ter her tour of duty in vol­ley­ball, Amanda would prob­a­bly do well be­ing a pho­tog­ra­pher, even if it does ap­pear that she also ex­cels at be­ing the cam­era’s sub­ject (as you can see here).

“I like pho­tog­ra­phy so much and I’d like to learn more [tech­niques]. I like street pho­tog­ra­phy, specif­i­cally—i like to ex­plore the hu­man el­e­ment and the full range of emo­tions. I es­pe­cially like it when my sub­ject’s eyes are very ex­pres­sive,” Amanda says.

By how she talks to her­self, we don’t think that Amanda re­al­izes that she’s one of the most pop­u­lar and beau­ti­ful women in Philip­pine vol­ley­ball to­day. “Di na­man ha ha! Hindi! Sim­ple lang tayo. Well, min­san ang weird ng feel­ing, like, when we go to the prov­inces and they’re like, scream­ing, and ako parang, ‘aww, I’m so touched.’ Kasi for me, I’m not af­ter na­man the fame, I’m af­ter in­spir­ing peo­ple. Nagkataon lang sig­uro na ang daming ma­g­a­gan­dang vol­ley­ball play­ers so ikaw, ang feel­ing mo, ma­g­a­nda ka na rin ha ha!”

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