Michelle Gumabao, co-captain of the De La Salle University Lady Spikers from 2012 to 2013, has something in common with star players of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Their achievements have taken them beyond their chosen sport.
Michelle became a sports analyst and TV host.
Her participation as PBB: All In housemate enhanced her image as one of the newest role models for young student-athletes.
“With PBB, it really opened a lot of doors for me," Michelle told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an exclusive interview during her contract-signing as 51Talk endorser last October 8, at Crowne Plaza Hotel.
"It opened my eyes also to what showbiz is really about, and I really enjoyed working this year with different engagements.”
Michelle and 51Talk, an online English language teaching platform for Chinese students, have the same views about learning.
“Ever since I was in high school, I’ve always valued my education. Maybe you can call me a nerd, but I just really love studying.
“So now that I’ve graduated, I don’t stop learning, I don’t stop studying.
“I mean, you have to learn every single day, new things help you grow also.
“Education, learning, for me, is very important. That’s why I’m so close to the values of 51Talk.
“Teaching and learning are just two of my goals in life. So we have a lot of similarities, actually, me and the brand,” Michelle said.
COACH MICHELLE. This volleybelle discovered her love for teaching when she put up the Michelle Gumabao volleyball camp in 2014 (it is now known as the Alaska Power Camp).
Michelle personally trained the girls—a mix of kids, tweens and teens.
Michelle recalled, “[It’s] hard. It’s really hard.
“Now I appreciate the efforts of my coach. Actually. I teach girls aged seven all the way up to high school.
“It is all at the same time, and girls—girls are very, very moody.
“We all have our different personalities; we all have our moments we just want to be a brat.
“And I really, really, really learned a lot from teaching these kids.
“I learned to be more patient. I found out that I have a knack for teaching.
“All of my teammates tell me, um, they really admire my patience when it comes to kids.
“Even me, I got shocked that I could actually have that kind of patience and connection with them.
“You have to make the sport easy enough for them to understand and, at the same time, challenging enough for them to realize their potential.
“And top it all off, you have to make it fun because, at the end of the day, it’s just summer fun for them—summer camp, a summer clinic, so it can’t be a burden for them.
“And then, I started segmenting those who really want to pursue a career to a different module.
“So yeah, it really challenges your knowledge of the sport and your passion.”
SHARING THE PASSION. The success of her volleyball camp pushed Michelle to dream bigger.
As a coach, she knows the value of passion and imparting knowledge.
“I can’t be selfish when it comes to what I learn and [what] I know.
“I always want to share it [volleyball] as much as possible to these kids because I see that they have the dream, they have the passion, and now you see it on TV, you can get a scholarship.
“So, hopefully, my dream for my camp is to bring it across the Philippines and, hopefully, it is not just for those who are fortunate enough to pay.”
Michelle takes her role as celebrity to heart.
“I’m deeply honored with the support and the recognition that everyone has been giving.
“Me, my teammates, and just the volleyball players… I can’t take it lightly.
“Because with the fame, the recognition, comes the people that look at you, look up to you, and you just have to be more responsible and more conscious of the things that you say, the things that you do.
“I always want to be someone that can inspire other people.
"So in everything that I get myself into—may it be 51Talk, volleyball, business—I try to engage everybody, and just be someone who can share and inspire and just motivate other people to do better in life.
“Because, at the end of the day, that’s what I wanna do. Just do better.
“Kaya I want to try different areas din because I want to try everything, and see where I can improve more as a person."