They are powerhouses who have mastered the art of balancing academics and sports. But while they make it look easy, their lives are certainly no walk in the park. Always giving 100 percent in whatever they do, these student-athletes have found ways to succeed in and out of the classroom, living up to the demands of being the new faces of Philippine sports.

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Marcus Mababangloob, 20, Ateneo de Manila University, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A typical day: “I train at night, so I usually try to keep myself chill all day. I finish whatever has to be done [for school] then maybe take a nap or see my friends. On good days, I get to jam with my band ALYSON too. I don’t really approach my day with a stressed [mindset]; I essentially behave like a sloth all day, then go beast mode at night–from all chill to no chill. It has been fun so far.”

The demanding student-athlete life: “You’re not going to be treated as special. You can’t expect any sort of leniency, special treatment, or priority status. This might make life difficult at first, but you learn to be thankful for it eventually. You just have to not think about whether or not you can do it, [then] just keep doing it. Trust yourself.”

Source of motivation: “The more passionate you are about something, the harder you’ll work to be able to pursue it. I view [academics] as something I need to excel [at] before thinking about anything else, because that’s real life. Need to kick @$$ at academics before kicking some real @$$.”

Achieving #fitnessgoals: “Before [practicing Brazilian] Jiu-Jitsu, I wasn’t the type you’d find at the gym. For people who want to be fit, but aren’t into the whole fitness and gains game, find [a sport or activity] you like that will force you to stay healthy. You don’t have to think about becoming fitter [at first], but it will happen.”


Photographer: Rxandy Capinpin
Grooming: Kierlo Velasco
Producer and stylist: Jerico Villamonte
Assisted by: Yzza Hablado