Vol­ley­ball star Cha Cruz re­veals a dif­fer­ent side of her per­son­al­ity

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SPORTS - By Mac Dion­i­sio Pho­tos by Michael Gatpandan

MANILA — If Kathryn Bernardo is lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment’s ’ Nasa Iyo Na Ang La­hat’ girl, vol­ley­ball, the fastest ris­ing sport in the Philip­pines, has its own ver­sion of some­one who seems to have it all in Charleen ’ Cha’ Cruz. Cruz, who bears a some­what pal­pa­ble sim­i­lar­ity in fea­tures with Bernardo, is lo­cal vol­ley­ball’s ’ Miss Ev­ery­thing’ due to her abil­ity to tran­si­tion from set­ter to all spik­ing po­si­tions with ease while ef­fort­lessly look­ing gor­geous even dur­ing the most gru­elling of matches.

Famed for her well-rounded skills and for hav­ing one of the fresh­est faces in lo­cal sports, the for­mer La Salle stal­wart has made a suc­cess­ful re­turn via club leagues af­ter tak­ing a short hia­tus to fo­cus on grad­u­ate school.

Re­cently named as the Am­bas­sador of Philip­pine Su­perLiga, where her squad Shopinas.com made it to the fi­nals of the 2015 All-Filipino Con­fer­ence, Cruz shows no signs of slow­ing down as her star con­tin­ues to sparkle de­spite the in­flux on new names from all over the coun­try who are all try­ing to get a piece of the lime­light that the sport is en­joy­ing.

But you’ve heard about her vol­ley­ball sto­ries be­fore. That is the Inquirer tried to switch things up and have the for­mer UAAP MVP talk about crushes, first love, her boyfriend of five years, Ray Be­hag, and her re­ac­tion when­ever peo­ple tell her how gor­geous she is.

So, is she the sport’s “It” girl? You be the judge.

Who is your lo­cal celebrity crush?

“Lo­cal, Jeri­cho Ros­ales. Ayaw ko ng cute. Ayaw ko ng mas puti sa akin. Gusto ko manly ’yung dat­ing.”

Who is your for­eign celebrity crush?

“Hugh Jackman. I like his voice. Very manly. ’Yung pag aala­gaan ka very com­fort­ing.”

What turns you off?

“Ayaw ko ng nag­mu­mura. Ayaw ko nakakarinig ng mura na as in ma­lu­tong na mura. Feel­ing ko sinasak­sak ako sa puso. And ayaw ko ’yung du­mudura. ’Yung may tunog? Ugh!”

When did you ex­pe­ri­ence your first love?

“Kailan­gan ba se­ri­ous? (gig­gles) Puppy love, nagka­roon ako grade six. Pero ’yung seryoso, si Ray (Be­hag). First siya na true love.”

How long have you and your boyfriend been dat­ing?

“Since third year col­lege ito. Five years na.”

What is the best thing about Ray?

“I know na may­roon siyang plan sa buhay. Gusto niya i-level-up pa ’yung buhay niya kung anu­man ang may­roon siya ngayon. Ako kasi very dom­i­nant ako. Gusto ko some­one who would dom­i­nate over me but then who would give re­spect in my per­sonal de­ci­sions. And also, he has a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with God.”

And the worst?

“Hot-tem­pered? Pero he is chang­ing. He is be­ing pa­tient. Siyem­pre kailan­gan mag ma­ture. And the fact na mas matanda ako sa kanya by two years is a fac­tor din sig­uro.”

Any plans of go­ing to the next level and get mar­ried?

“Ideal age is 30 years old. Ayaw ko rin siya pan­gu­na­han. And I also want to en­joy my sin­gle blessed­ness. I’m just 27. I still have three years. *laughs*”

What’s one thing about you that not many peo­ple know?

“Malakas ako ku­main. So­bra! Pagka-so­brang lakas ko, kaya kong umu­bos ng tat­long ki­long hipon. At tsaka ng five cups of rice. In one meal! Kami nila Ce­line (Her­nan­dez) at Pa­neng (Mer­cado) paligsa­han kami ku­main ng kanin.”

How do you re­act when peo­ple call you beau­ti­ful?

“Flat­tered. I ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that ev­ery­one is cre­ated in the im­age and like­ness of God. La­hat na­man ta­laga may ma­g­a­nda sa bawat tao pero nakakatuwa lang na ev­ery­one ap­pre­ci­ates you as you.”

What is your def­i­ni­tion of beauty?

“It has to be in­side and out. No strings at­tached. You’re not play­ing a role just be­cause you want to show your­self at gusto mo lang ipal­abas na gan­ito ka. Da­pat may­roon ka ta­laga in­side you na nakikita ng tao which in­spires them.”

What makes you Miss Ev­ery­thing out­side vol­ley­ball?

“Sig­uro I am more mo­ti­vated to do ev­ery­thing for the Lord and not just for my­self. Ac­tu­ally, min­san nga pag natawag ako na Miss Ev­ery­thing I want to hum­ble my­self more na ,’Hindi ko kaya la­hat. Hindi lang ako ito. Si Lord la­hat eh.’ Alam ko kung hindi dahil sa Kanya, wala ako ni­tong la­hat ngayon.”

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