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My ‘other’ family

Words cannot express how grateful I am.

Mika Reyes

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Last Wednesday, we had a kickoff party with Virtual Playground to celebrate New Year.

This talent management firm has been my “other” family.

As we all know, when I was still with De La Salle University, we were discouraged to hire managers and agents since we were still student-athletes and they don’t want to have any conflict. That’s why I made sure to finish my collegiate commitment first before entertaining endorsements and offers that would seriously affect my athletic career.
How time flies.

Now, I’m with Virtual Playground for four years already and I can say that our relationship keeps getting stronger and better than ever.

I’m really happy and proud to be part of this wonderful family.

They have been guiding me in my career inside and outside the volleyball court and do not get tired of supporting me whenever I make crucial decisions.

Virtual Playground continues to expand.

Aside from athletes, they are also now handling the careers of singers, performers and actors, who are all working hard to make it big in the entertainment industry.

That’s why Virtual Playground arranged a party so we can mingle with each other and get to know other companies under this talent agency.

This is not the first time for them to hold an event like this.

Last year, we also had a small gathering with all athletes competing in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

We were introduced to each other, where I learned that all of them are not just ordinary athletes but a re all achievers in their respective fields.

That’s why when the SEA Games came to a close, I wasn’t surprised that nearly all of the athletes under Virtual Playground emerged with medals.

Virtual Playground athletes who won SEA Games medals are Johnvic de Guzman, Marck Espejo, Jack Kalingking and Joshua Umandal of men’s indoor volleyball; Chris Newsome of men’s 3×3 basketball; Jimmy Alapag and Chris Ross of men’s 5×5 basketball; Jerome Calica of muay; Maxine Esteban of fencing; Mark Striegl of sambo; Rochelle Suarez of obstacle course racing; and Pauline Lopez of taekwondo.

Thinking about their achievement of these high caliber athletes makes me proud to be part of the Virtual Playground family. Even if I didn’t win a medal with the national women’s volleyball team, they still made sure to support and cheer me up, saying that being part of the national team is already a major achievement that I should cherish and be proud of.

After all, not all volleyball players are given the chance to represent the country.

Anyway, during the kickoff party, there was a short program, where we played interactive games with other Virtual Playground talents. We had so much fun.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to win as the taller, stronger players of Alab Pilipinas dominated everything. Well, to tell you honestly, we actually let them win, knowing that basketball players are very competitive and have massive advantage over mere mortals like us (LOL!).

To spice up the event, there was a raffle with hefty prizes at stake. But I didn’t expect much. I know that I am not lucky when it comes to game of chances.

And what made the night truly special was the fact that my managers, Mark Salamat and Charlie Dy, celebrated their birthdays. I could see the pride and happiness in their eyes since the athletes and celebrities that they handle are all doing well in their respective fields.

So to those behind Virtual Playground, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for taking care of my career. With their help, I really discovered a lot about myself and learned a lot about the industry I am working.

I hope that they don’t get tired of helping athletes and celebrities like us in charting their future in the sports and entertainment industries.

Words cannot express how grateful I am.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you to my “other” family.

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