Southern Living - - South­ern­ers -

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




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.

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