Raymark Woo: Strength in silence

In the Philippines, boys and girls usually have different answers when it comes to preferences in sport. Most Filipino men are more inclined to pick up a basketball in their younger years, while women often find themselves practicing their digs, spikes, and receptions. However, this stereotype is slowly diminishing as many young males are now finding themselves playing volleyball, mainly due to its recent surge in popularity in the country.

Raymark Woo is one of those boys whose work on the court doesn’t involve him shooting at hoops. The Cagayan de Oro native is currently the captain of the DLSU Green Spikers and is arguably their best player, thanks to the offensive onslaught he orchestrates to his opponents in the UAAP.

Raymark Woo - Renz Perez []


Family ties, Palarong Pambansa, and the UAAP

Volleyball wasn’t Woo’s first love when he began engaging in sporting activities. Tall and athletic, he was more inclined towards basketball, much like the other boys in his age group. Only when he found out that his parents used to play volleyball did he begin shifting his focus towards the sport.

He began working on his volleyball skills, with the goal of making the region’s Palarong Pambansa roster. At the time, achieving that was the highest possible reward he thought of possibly attaining, since the UAAP wasn’t popular in his hometown and was rather unknown. Fortunately, his talent did not go unnoticed and eventually college scouts began to recruit him to play for their respective varsity squads.

Yung goal ko lang naman, gusto ko lagi akong nakakaabot ng Palaro. Yun lang naman talaga yung pinakamataas sa amin,” Woo says on his previously lofty goals. “So nung nag-offer sa akin yung La Salle, parang ginrab ko na lang din.


A different adjustment

However, coming from the province, the Green Spiker was in for a complete surprise when he set foot in Manila. The lifestyle in the bustling metropolis was a big shock to Woo, who had difficulties adjusting to the culture that most of his teammates shared at the time.

Siyempre ako laking probinsya. Walang bisyo, walang ganyan. Parang namulat ako pagdating dito na, ‘Hala may ganyan pala’,” recalls the soft-spoken team-captain.

After having a great rookie season, Woo suffered a setback in his second year in La Salle as he sustained a knee injury that kept him out of the line-up for UAAP Season 77. Despite this, he expressed no regrets on the incident, as his injury paved the way for the seniors of the squad to have their one final hurrah with the Green Spikers before they graduate.

Raymark Woo - Rhij Janda []


Raising his level of play

A year later, Woo found himself snagging the Best Scorer title in UAAP Season 78 after leading the team’s offense as the Green Spikers’ team captain.

He was then sought out by Cignal TV Inc. to play for them in the second season of Spikers’ Turf Open Conference. “Nagdecide ako na baka mas magmamature ako pagsasali ako dito (Spiker’s Turf),” Woo explains on why he took the offer to join the team.

So far, he has proven himself worthy of the position given to him as he consistently appears in the team’s topscorer list, especially during the team’s most recent games. As of press time, Woo is currently helping Cignal battle it out with Air Force in the league’s finals.

Although his volleyball future looks promising, the power hitter showed little enthusiasm in continuing on as a pro-athlete after college. “Siguro parang part time nalang kung may magooffer sa akin,” he explains, “…kasi gusto ko nang magtrabaho.

However, he plans to finish his collegiate career on a high note. “Two years na lang, ibuhos ko na lang commitment ko kasi baka di ko na siya maaasam pagkagraduate ko,” he concludes.


Josef Fuentebella

By Josef Fuentebella

Tinsel Joaquin

By Tinsel Joaquin

Leave a Reply