Alyssa Valdez has gone a long way from being just a college volleyball player. After an impressive run with the Ateneo Lady Eagles, she moved on to play pro with Thai team 3BB Nakornnont. You might’ve very cheered for her if you happen to switch to a volleyball match on TV.
But when ‘she not chasing can’t after a ball, she also manages and co-owns Ally’s All-Day Breakfast in Quezon City. Even though she said it’s not in her comfort zone, Alyssa’s taking it in stride.
We found out more when we spoke to Alyssa during PayMaya’s Millennials Beyond the Selfie exhibit. Read on to see her thoughts on being a working millennilal and what she does to stay for matches.
What does being a millennial mean to you?
It means having a lot of opportunities and challenges that you need to overcome by yourself. That will make you braver and stronger as an individual.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a millennial?
Since we’re given a lot of opportunities, it’s really hard to put your 100 percent if [you have a lot of things going on.] But with hard work and passion, you can choose the path you really want for yourself.
What made you fall in love with volleyball?
I really don’t know. I never realized that I was until recently. That’s why my love for it is so deep because it’s gradual and slow—one step at a time talaga. I just tried it out and eventually found new sisters.
Was it challenging switching from college volleyball to pro?
It’s really different because in college, your system is just the same, you’re not going to adjust anything. You have all year round to prepare for the tournaments. For professional, you really have to balance your time and focus on all the things we have now. But as long as you have the right people to support you then you can manage and survive.
Why did you start managing your own all-day breakfast restaurant?
First because my co-owners at Ally’s All-Day Breakfast are my friends. Second, I really love breakfast food. Third, I really wanted to challenge myself and be someone that I’m not used to being. Before, I was just known as a student-athlete. Now, I want to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone.
What advice do you usually tell younger people who look up to you?
That they should love and enjoy what they’re doing. I think that when you’re doing something, you have to be happy with it. That’s the ultimate goal for anyone—to find happiness in whatever they do.
How do you balance your time as a pro athlete and a restaurant co-owner?
I was away for a couple of months and wasn’t able to visit the store. But when I’m here, I go there and try to help all the people in the kitchen. As for the other things with the restaurant, I’m slowly trying to learn and getting a hang of being part of the restaurant business.
Do you follow a strict workout and diet plan?
Honestly, my only workout is training with the team. I do what the coaches tell us. But when I don’t have training, I go running and other basic workouts at home. I also don’t have a strict diet. I eat at buffets a lot. [Laughs]
Favorite fashion and beauty picks
I like wearing shorts, sneakers, and t-shirt. [For beauty,] I don’t really wear a lot of makeup. But I need to learn. [Laughs]
What do you always carry in your bag?
My wallet, cellphone, shades, and a ballpen.
What do you usually spend on using your PayMaya Card?
I use it when I eat. I really love to eat! Also when I shop and when I book flights. Usually, I don’t bring cash anymore and just bring a card [when I go out.]
Thoughts on “adulting.”
I don’t want to be an adult. Just kidding! [Laughs] We have to face reality that we’re going to get there sooner or later. As a millennial, you’re already facing a lot of challenges that you wouldn’t normally experience at early 20s. For me, my school and my parents prepared me to face these challenges on my own. They also help me, too.