Ateneo Lady Eagles volleyball player Gretchen Ho is becoming increasingly visible on TV after playing her last year in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
She is part of Game On! Chevrolet Sonic Celebrity Challenge which will be aired on April 6 and 13 on Studio 23.
Gretchen will be competing with teammates Andrei Felix and Manuel Chua for Team Sonic White; against Melissa Ricks, Paul Jake Castillo, and Gretchen Fullido for Team Sonic Blue.
The road challenge, which stretched from Quezon City to Tagaytay, involved exciting physical and mental challenges.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertaninment Portal) had a chance to interview Gretchen at the presscon of the said show last March 19, at Annabel’s restaurant on Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
RELATIONSHIP WITH ROBI. On her guesting in Gandang Gabi Vice which aired last Sunday, March 17, Gretchen admitted that she and Robi are “exclusively dating.”
Is this their status until now?
“Tanong mo siya,” was her reply.
In a separate interview, Robi was quoted as saying that Gretchen is “more than” girlfriend-material.
Does she consider Robi “boyfriend-material”?
After taking a pause, Gretchen answered, “Hindi naman siguro ako makikipag-date ng ten months kung hindi.”
When asked, what exactly they are waiting for before making it official, Gretchen replied, “Puwedeng personal na lang yun?”
Though she refuses to confirm the real status of their relationship, the 22-year-old stunner did not hesitate to enumerate the qualities she admires about Robi.
“Pinaka ina-admire ko? He has a really good heart. Yun lang masasabi ko.
“Kasi yun nga, everyone, a lot of people can have the looks, can have the brains. But not a lot of people can have a good heart. Yun yung nakita ko sa kanya.
“Tsaka napaka-gentleman niya and respectful siya talaga. Tsaka mabait kasi talaga siya, e. Mabait siyang tao.
“And siguro ano, yung pagiging genuine niya. You know, he’s been always true to himself. So that’s what I admire.
“Tsaka down-to-earth. Kahit na kilala siya, parang he acts like a normal person.”
Do she see herself with Robi years down the line?
There was a long pause before Gretchen replied, “Of course, I do.
“Kasi nga, I wouldn’t be dating someone this long if I didn’t see them in my future.
“Tsaka parang, yun nga, sinasabi ko, he’s a really, parang he’s really good-hearted kasi.
“And yun nga, parang contrary to what The Buzz says na hindi approve yung family ko, parang okay naman, e. Okay siya with my family.
“And I think parang everything is good naman so yun. Tingnan natin.”
THE BACKSTORY. Robi, for his part, has shared the serendipitous events that brought the two of them together.
Their first encounter was in a soiree back when they were still in third year high school.
But the friendship did not develop until recently.
Gretchen relates, “Ano lang, e, June lang talaga. A, dahil sa placement office. Pero, June lang talaga.
“Kasi hindi kami masyadong nag-uusap nung ano, e. When we see each other siguro.
“Nung June… Ay hindi, summer pala. Nung V-League. Nung nanuod siya.”
The V-League is a collegiate summer volleyball league.
She continues, “Nung graduation, nagkatabi yung mom niya tsaka yung mom ko. As in nagkatabi sila nung graduation. Hindi nila kilala yung isa’t isa.
“Pero kilala ata ako ng mom ni Robi. Tapos kilala ko si Robi. Basta ipinakilala kami.
“Tapos yung upuan, yung upuan nila magkatabi. Hindi ko alam kung bakit may pangalan yung upuan ko... a, may reservation.
“Tapos yung upuan ng mom ko tsaka yung ng mom ni Robi magkatabi.
"Tapos nag-exchange yata sila ng number. Tapos sila muna yung nagkayayaan.
“So kaya nga niyaya kami ng family nila sa bahay niya. Tapos nag-ano kami dun…birthday kasi ng dad niya. So, niyaya yung family ko.
“So parang family friends kami, ganun. Parang family friends kami. Ganun kami nag-start.
“And then, nanood sila ng game namin right after that. Tapos yun, dun kami nag-start na mag-usap.”
However, Gretchen says they are still not comfortable sharing details about their relationship such as the sweetest thing they’ve done for each other.
She says, “Well, kasi gusto talaga namin keep private.
"Kasi, yun nga, it’s different kasi when it’s public, e.
"We want to take care of, parang, whatever we have.
“Kasi if it’s public, ang daming puwedeng maging issue. And we don’t want anything to get in the way.
"So, medyo maingat kami magsalitang dalawa.”
HOSTING. On top of various TV guestings, Gretchen is set to become a host on Balls, Studio 23’s sports cable channel.
Does this mean that she is now entertaining thoughts of entering showbiz?
She croaked, “Showbiz na ba yun? Hosting kasi gusto ko. Kasi sports talaga yung interest ko.
“And I really don’t want to…parang I want to be involved in sports, still.
“And I think that… I’ve been hosting kasi sa Ateneo. Nag-host ako ng bonfire, nag-host ako ng Jesuit Ignatian Festival, nag-host ako ng Ateneo Open.
“So marami na rin and, yun nga, parang na-enjoy ko siya tsaka di lang yun. Parang feel ko naggu-grow din ako as a person pag ginagawa ko siya.
“So, marami akong nami-meet na na tao, ganyan.
"So I really like yung hosting. And yun nga, parang in-approach ako ng Balls kung interested ba ’ko na mag-try for their show.
“May show sila sa summer yata, sports show.
"Hindi ko alam kung puwede ko nang sabihin, e. Pero, yun. So nag-VTR ako, tapos yun, nagustuhan naman nila.
“I have no definite plans yet kasi parang hindi ko pa talaga siya…magre-retreat muna ako kasi. Magri-retreat muna ako sa April.
“So that’s when I will really consider all my options. I plan also to go corporate, e.
“Parang, sabay. Baka hindi naman ako full time na magho-host.
"Hindi ko pa sure, pero yun yung nasa isip ko.”
Gretchen is a double major of AB Communication and BS Management Engineering with a Minor in Development Management at the Ateneo De Manila University.
Does she intend to put her degree into use?
She replies, “Yun nga. Kaya nga gusto kong mag-corporate kasi parang feel ko, yun yung... nagagamit ko yung knowledge ko, yung inaral ko dun sa corporate.
“Tsaka passionate talaga ako, e, sa marketing kasi ako, e. Passionate ako sa marketing.”
So it’s part-time hosting for now?
“As of now, oo. Pero, parang gusto ko munang mag-break, e. Gusto ko munang mag-break.
“Pero hindi pa ’ko sure talaga, wala pa ’kong definite plans.
"I’m trying out different, like, yun nga, different mga ganito, different gigs, different events.
“But I’m also having interviews with different companies. So parang I’m still just weighing my options.”
Going back to the question about entering showbiz, Gretchen declares, “Parang, if it puts me in a position where I can influence people or inspire people to be better or… alam mo yun?
“Kasi, like now, sinasabi sa ‘kin nung mga tao na parang... natutuwa ako, kasi sinasabi nila na parang nai-inspire ko raw sila, ganun.
“And parang feel ko, gusto ko makagawa ng positive change. Eto talaga.
"Kasi parang medyo may development background ako, e. Minor in Development Management ako.
“So gusto ko talagang, siguro to be a good example to children, ganyan. And if, yun nga...
“I think if it will give me that opportunity, then I will consider. Pero hindi acting, a.
“Not acting, just hosting. Hosting talaga. Hosting…sports hosting.
“Mga youth-oriented na…parang gusto ko yung mga shows na may, alam mo yun, na may advocacy. Yun.”
How does she feel about the popularity she has now reached and the influence she has, particularly with children?
Gretchen says, “Yun pa. Dun ako natutuwa.
"Kasi mahilig ako sa bata. Mahilig ako sa bata so pag makita ko lang na masaya sila, masaya na rin ako. Alam mo yun, yung ganun.
“Like, yun nga, sinasabi ko, every time may nagti-tweet sa kin, ’Ate, pa-notice naman po,’ ganyan, pine-favorite ko yun.
"Pag may time ako, isa-isa, pine-favorite ko.
“Parang feel ko kasi, bawat favorite ko, sasaya yung tao. Tapos parang namu-multiply yung happiness.
"E, biro mo isang click lang, di ba, napapasaya mo na yung tao.
“Yun yung sinasabi ko na if it puts me in that kind of position where I can make others happy, where I can contribute more, then why not?
“And nakaka-flatter siya, and surprised din ako kasi hindi ko in-expect na ganito yung reception nung mga tao, yung support nung mga tao.
“And yun nga, I’m just really grateful. Parang I treat them as blessings.”
TV5 has plans of putting up a professional league for women’s volleyball in the Philippines. Would she join if it pushes through?
Gretchen answers, “Interested ako. Interested naman ako.”