WITH the Premier Volleyball League season shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic, PetroGazz middle blocker Jessey de Leon has found more time in being an architect.
A former University of Santo Tomas women’s volleyball standout, De Leon passed the architecture licensure examinations with flying colors two years ago.
“I definitely have more time now to be a practicing architect. Before the pandemic, I only had the morning and afternoon to work. Now, my daily schedule is more flexible,” said De Leon.
“I used to spend three to four hours in traffic so I could attend a three-hour training. These days, I can cover all my roles as an athlete in just two hours. I’ve been spending most of my time working and designing lately, as well as growing my skills and learning new things,” she added.
“I’m planning to showcase my YouTube channel soon, so I can share snippets of my life as an architect and the visual process for some of my projects. I’m also looking forward to launching two new business ventures this year. Long story short, a lot has been going on. Hehe.”
The 25-year old De Leon makes sure that she strikes a balance of being a volleyball player and an architect, during her time as one of the key players for the Tigresses and now, as one of the Angels’ reliables in the middle.
After all, De Leon is always a believer that she could achieve her goals simultaneously.
“It’s all about time management. Sounds cliche´, but it’s a huge factor when it comes to balancing everything that’s on my plate. Essentially, if you know your priorities, you spend less energy and time on the things that don’t matter as much,” said De Leon.
It helps for De Leon that her father Jess, an engineer who also manages and sometimes play in Metro Manila’s top weekend recreational basketball leagues, can count on in balancing both worlds.
“Even when I was still in college, he would remind me to identify what is important. This piece of advice played a big part when I was studying Architecture while playing for the UST WVT. He said that I must remember that I am a student-athlete – a student before an athlete. So, when the going gets tough, my studies must always be my priority. Even so, he encourages me to pursue what I am truly passionate about, and those words of wisdom fuel me (and him!) to keep playing sports while working as a professional,” said De Leon.
PetroGazz was supposed to defend its Reinforced Conference crown it won last season with Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson in tow.
With the PVL wars postponed to next year, this is the longest that De Leon took a break.
“I miss it terribly. This is the longest I’ve gone without playing volleyball. That fact alone shows just how much I’m bound to be missing it,” said De Leon.
It has more than seven months for De Leon since he played volleyball, as the Angels, just like any other club team, are still stuck with home workouts to keep them in shape.
“To be honest, I’m starting to feel some burnout at this point. You know how we sometimes lose our spark when we do the same thing day in day out, especially if we’re missing out on what we love doing most? There isn’t anyone in the house to play volleyball with, so all I do is life weights and it drains me,” said De Leon.
“Whenever I feel this way, though, I find time to do little things that make me happy. I take a step back to realize that what I’m sowing during this quarantine period is what I’ll reap when I go back to playing again,” she added.
Once everything goes back to normal, De Leon will offer everything in playing the sport that she loves.
“Reap what I saw. Play a hundred percent, because you’ll never know when the chance to play will slip from your fingers again,” said De Leon.