Students live a life where juggling academics and organization work is the name of the game; but that is not the case for fourth year Sports Management major Jamica Arribas, who lives the life of a student-athlete away from her home.
Living in the bustling streets of Bacolod City, Arribas picked up a love for Softball in the fourth grade. She said that she started joining the Palarong Pambansa Softball Tournament the following year and has found domestic success since then. Arribas then started to get scouted by various schools because of her tournament appearances. “Nirecruit ako ng La Salle kasi nakikita nila na marami akong sinasalihan na tournaments.”
(La Salle recruited me because they saw how I participated in multiple tournaments.)
Continuing, the sports management major attributed her adjustment to the team to her previous experiences. She had to adapt slowly yet surely since she was the only one from her high school team to enter La Salle.
Aside from her duties as a Lady Batter, the grind does not stop for her as she aims to balance her academic, personal, and sports life. Arribas believes that time management is the key to success. “Priority sila both [academics and sports] kasi give and take sila. Nakakapag-aral ako dahil sa sports. Kailangan ko magsports para sa scholarship ko. Proud ako kasi nababalance ko habang na m-maintain ko yung pagiging dean’s lister sa school.”
(Both are priorities because it’s a give and take. I get to study because of sports. I need to play sports to maintain my scholarship. I am proud of being able to balance it while maintaining my dean’s lister status at school.)
Likewise, the opportunity arose when she represented the country along the way in a few tournaments. Though playing internationally may not be her main priority, she is still open to the idea of representing the Philippines again because of the honor it holds.
While some people give her negative remarks regarding her gameplay or work ethic in general, she just shrugs it off and makes it her motivation to excel even more. She sees it as a challenge for her to rise through the ranks and prove all of them wrong. As a matter of fact, various members of the Lasallian community see her as one of the key pitchers of the team.
She says, otherwise, as for her, her job is to put her team at the top of the standings. “Sobrang thankful nga ako na ang grabe tingin nila sakin.” (I’m thankful that they think highly of me).
Moreover, knowing the sacrifices athletes need to face, it is inevitable for them to experience setbacks every so often. Particularly for the fourth year student, there were times where she felt like she wanted to give up, but she kept in mind that playing is already part of her lifestyle. Her mindset runs towards passion and commitment, and that playing the sport gave her avenues that encouraged who she is and what she has achieved up to this date.
When experiencing hindrances, part of her coping mechanism is to give herself time to contemplate before making any rash decisions. “Nirerefelect ko pa kung ano nangyari. Then kung ano yung mali, baguhin. Then kung ano yung mga maganda nangyari, I-apply nalang.”
(I usually reflect on the events that happened, then whatever is wrong, I change it, and whatever good that comes out of it, I apply it.)
Coming from a background with humble beginnings, and then earning a scholarship at one of the most prestigious schools in the country, Arribas wants to be remembered as someone simple. She explains that it does not matter if she is not as strong as the other players in the roster, but what is important is for other people to see her as someone who is herself.
“I want to be remembered bilang ako lang. Bilang simpleng tao lang. Kasi di ako kalakasan sa tingin ko. Gusto ko maging malakas pero okay lang kahit di ako ganun.” (I want to be remembered as me. As someone who is simple, because in my opinion, I’m not that strong. I want to be strong but it’s okay if I’m not.)
While the Lady batters did not make the Final Four in Season 80, Arribas and the rest of the team deserve praise for the effort and sacrifices they all had to make to get ready for the tournament.