Towering over us at five feet and eleven inches tall, Mika Reyes could easily be mistaken for a model on a break from a full day of casting. But being that tall didn’t equate to modeling in her head at all. Interestingly enough, we found out that volleyball wasn’t exactly something that was at the top of her head and neither did she expect that it would turn out the way it has today. “In first year high school, I wasn’t really interested in sports. Para lang may hobby ako (It was just so I would have a hobby) or to make use of my height. Wala namang masama sa mag ‘try out’ (There’s nothing wrong with trying out),” she says, blushing. But what started out as just a whim has now turned into a full-fledged passion.
Coming off a loss from the UAAP Women’s Volleyball championship, Mika’s spirit didn’t seem tainted one bit. In fact, it was inspiring to see how well she took it and how she views the experience as a lesson. “Heartbreaking talaga siya (It was really heartbreaking) but it was not as bad as last year. Kasi last year mag-fo-four peat na kami and natalo kami. This season naman never kami nanalo against them so meaning hindi talaga siya meant for us (Last year, we were expecting to win a four peat but we lost. This season, we didn’t win any games against them so it meant that it really wasn’t for us),” she explains. “I told myself to move on kasi wala din akong magagawa dahil last year yung natalo kami sobrang stressed ko. Sabi ko, move on nalang ngayon and work hard ang dapat lang naming gawin. (I told myself to move on because it already happened and I can’t do anything about it anymore. Last year when we lost, I was so stressed. Now, I just told myself to move on and work hard which is what we should do),” she says.
The #AllIsWell hashtag was a testament to how the girls took their loss in stride during the season and only showed the strength of the De La Salle players. It served as a raring force to keep them going and reminded them that winning wasn’t everything. What mattered, they reminded themselves, is that they tried their best at every single game. Another thing that keeps her going is the support of her athlete superstar boyfriend, Kiefer Ravena. “He motivates me. Madami siyang sinasabi sa akin na pwede ko gamitin in and outside of the court. (He gives me a lot of advice that I can use in and out of the court.) As a senior, he gives tips and what to do in certain games; what is crucial. He always says, ‘Always play your best’ every single game. Yung best mo lagi ibigay mo para walang kang regrets manalo ka man or matalo. (Always give your best so whether you win or lose, you have no regrets),” she recalls.
There is a quiet elegance that Mika exudes with her casual demeanor as we speak to her. All we want to do was to keep sitting there and talking to her to try to get even deeper in her pensive mind. Unfortunately, we will have to watch her journey unfold the same way everyone will. We will have to wait and see what is next for the volleyball superstar.
MIKA’S ULTIMATE SPRING STYLE:
‘‘I think the thing that people notice most about the way I dress is the fact that I keep things simple. I don’t really like wearing tight clothes. I dress for comfort. I do dress up on occasion, but only when there are events or formal functions I have to attend. Otherwise, my go-to style staples are a simple t-shirt, denim shorts or trousers and a cardigan or jacket.”
Art direction by: Alexandra Lara
Photography by: Jerick Sanchez
Styling by: Francesca Atendido and Nicole Blanco Ramos
Makeup by: Hanna Pechon
Hair by: Carell Garcia
Nails by: Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon
Cover story by: Francesca Atendido
Special thanks to Skull & Bones, Big Guys Pizza, and Jo Cabuay Catering.