“I was first focused on doing ballet before I decided to try wushu. I was 6 then (I’m 12 now). After my ballet class, I would watch my older sister wrap up her wushu session, and she would do some martial arts exhibition. I thought it seemed interesting. After a year with ballet, I changed my class to wushu.”
“People ask me how I do both my academics and wushu. I tell them I just do it. There are times that I miss activities inside the classroom, but I get by catching up.”
Are you also on the honor list?
“Luckily. In fifth grade, I was fortunate enough to have finished as Top 1. In fourth and third grades, I was Top 2. In second and first grades, Top 1.”
All while doing wushu?
That’s sheer discipline.
“I think it’s about finding your solace from all the things that wear us out. For me, wushu is that solace.”
Tell me about your trip to Bulgaria.
“We travelled for two days. We stopped by Abu Dhabi and then Moscow before reaching Bulgaria, which is located near Greece and Turkey. It’s generally chill in there, much like Baguio. They have a vast coastline, and there are a lot of Chinese products there.”
“One of my most memorable moments, aside from winning the silver medal, was when we snuck out and went to the beach!”
“The beach is always beautiful, and the waters are always fascinating.”
What’s your greatest goal as an athlete?
“I’m not stopping until I play in the Olympics. Wushu is not yet an Olympic sport, but I heard it will be in 2020. So my eyes are fixed on that.”
Aleca finished as a silver medalist in the 6th World Junior Wushu Championships held in Bulgaria on September 25-October 3, 2016, where more than 50 countries competed. She has been a part of the Philippine team since 2015. She has also competed in the 8th Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Mongolia last year and brought home two bronze medals. Among her other achievements include the following: 3 gold medals in the National Open 2016, 3 gold medals in Batang Pinoy 2015, 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal in Batang Pinoy 2014, 2 silver medals and 1 gold medal in Batang Pinoy 2013, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal in Batang Pinoy 2012, and 1 bronze medal in Batang Pinoy 2011. She is in the sixth grade at the UB Elementary School.
Photo by DONALD RENTIQUIANO
Interview & Text by RONA LIN